A Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care Initiative
December 16, 2021
Follow us on social media!

Version 8.1 of the RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software platform has been released with an array of new features. It is now available for download from the RETScreen website HERE.
How the health care system is healing its environmental sore points
The Globe and Mail

The patient-care principle ‘first do no harm’ seems to fly in the face of many essentials in running the health system: intensive cleaning with harsh chemicals, one-time use of personal protective equipment and other procedures that can leave a heavy ecological footprint.

Hospitals with clinical-grade disinfecting practices use energy around the clock. Personal protective equipment (PPEs), medical devices and pharmaceutical drugs are among waste-producing staples in a system that’s been working towards sustainability by using environmentally and economically sound practices without compromising human health or aspects of the system.

The COVID-19 pandemic that began in early 2020 has placed extreme strains on the system but it’s also fostered opportunities for change and innovation, industry members say.
Choppers, boats and grit: how some health-care workers are adapting to weather disasters
CBC White Coat, Black Art

As climate change increases the likelihood and frequency of severe weather events, doctors in rural hospitals are likely to face growing challenges in the delivery of care, and may have to plan for losing resources like power and roads.

Building resilience into health-care systems to address climate change is a multifaceted issue, according to Linda Varangu, a senior climate change adviser for the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care.

"It's not just infrastructure, [it] includes leadership and human resources and early-warning systems and making sure your supply chain is uninterrupted," she said.

A BIG thank you to SaveOnEnergy for their continued financial support for the Ontario Green Health Care Award and the Ontario Energy Behaviour Award.
Empowering health-care learners to take action towards embedding environmental sustainability into health-care systems
The Lancet

Health care is one of the most important sectors in addressing the growing health impacts of climate change, but it has also been identified as a significant contributor to the climate crisis, being responsible for 4·6% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.

The negative environmental effects of health care are growing, with greenhouse gases and particulate matter emissions from health-care systems increasing by 29% and 9% respectively, between 2000 and 2015.

There is thus a tremendous impetus to reduce the environmental impact of health-care delivery and achieve net-zero health-care services. Intersectoral collaboration is required to realise the transformative changes required for health-care systems to align with the sustainable development goals. However, health-care learners are often not included in the planning and delivery of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in the health-care service. This is despite the fact that these trainees have considerable interest in driving a healthy societal response to the impending ecological crisis.
Kick the Carbon: CHEO announces goal to reduce carbon emissions
CHEO, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

As global leaders convene at UK COP26 to discuss strategies to tackle climate change, CHEO is implementing its own measures and targets to address the global crisis, directed by a mandate from its Board of Directors.

“As an organization with a vision of the best life for every child and youth, CHEO is inherently about creating a better future,” says Daphne Fedoruk, CHEO’s Chair of the Board of Directors.  “That’s what the Kick the Carbon initiative is all about; doing our part to help make this planet better for our kids. I’m proud that CHEO has clear targets to work toward.” 

The Kick the Carbon strategy aims to create a greener CHEO, using the organizations total emission in 2019 as its baseline. The recently approved targets will see CHEO reduce its carbon emissions by 5% each year, totaling 30% by 2025. 
First Canadian association for professionals supporting climate change action in Canada launched

To address the climate change challenges, it is essential that the broad transdisciplinary community of natural (meteorologists, biologists, oceanographers, etc.), social, engineering, economics, health, Indigenous and other scientists be brought together, and collaborate with all communities, so that they may address all climate-related issues and provide effective strategic action plans that are implemented. 

To address the climate change challenges more effectively, the Canadian Association of Professionals in Climate Change (CAPCC) has been created to bring together the trans-disciplinary and community expertise to address the climate challenges, push the climate agenda, and accelerate integrated climate action.
Creating a National Forum for Knowledge Exchange, Capacity Building and Collaboration to Address Infectious Diseases and Climate Change

Canadian Public Health Association has been funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Infectious Disease and Climate Change Fund for the “Creating a national forum for knowledge exchange, capacity building and collaboration to address infectious diseases and climate change” project to run July 2020 to March 2023.

The goal of the project is to increase the knowledge and capacity of, as well as collaborations among, professionals and providers across Canada so that they can inform and educate their communities and respond to the increasing demands posed by climate change and infectious diseases. Through scoping and engagement activities we will determine what work is being done at national, provincial/territorial, regional and local levels.
TED Talk: Transformative health care starts with climate solutions
The doctrine of "first, do no harm" is the basis of the Hippocratic Oath, one of the world's oldest codes of ethics. It governs the work of physicians -- but climate and health campaigner Shweta Narayan says it should go further. In this essential talk, she highlights the interdependence of environmental and human health and emphasizes the necessity of placing health at the heart of all climate solutions.

Turning Point - the Circular Economy in Canada

The way our economies extract, use, then dispose of resources is putting pressure on our natural systems, communities, and public health. The circular economy presents a potential solution.

The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has released its latest report, Turning Point, requested by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and informed by the Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada, a multidisciplinary group of 16 experts from across Canada and abroad. The report identifies the opportunities and challenges for a circular economy in Canada, including the potential economic, environmental, and social impacts of a circular transition.
Reshaping the plastic lifecycle into a circle

In 1950, 2 million metric tons of new plastic was produced globally. In 2018, the world produced 360 million metric tons of plastics. Because of their low cost, durability and versatility, plastics are everywhere—including in the environment—and only 9 percent of the plastic ever generated has been recycled. The vast majority ends up in landfills, where its slow degradation allows it to accumulate, while pervasive microplastics have been found everywhere, from inside living bodies to the bottom of the ocean.
Hydroponic farms bring fresh, local produce to rural Wisconsin community
Greenhealth Exchange

Living in the middle of farming country doesn’t necessarily mean an individual has easy access to fresh produce. In fact, many families that reside near farms are actually living in what is defined as a food desert. Children may not have access to healthy lunch choices, and when fresh options are available, they are cost-prohibitive.

Marshfield Clinic Health System and its Center for Community Health Advancement launched this initiative in 2019. The core pillar of the program is to bring the power of fresh food production directly to schools, food pantries, and meal programs through Flex Farm technology.
The top 3 food strategies for addressing the climate crisis and how health care is leading
Health Care Without Harm

Our food and agriculture system was part of the conversation at the international climate negotiations (COP26) that just wrapped up in Glasgow, Scotland — an important issue to address considering food-related emissions represent 33% of global greenhouse gases and without it we can’t reach global targets of less than 1.5°C warming.

The food system is unique in that it is both a large contributor to greenhouse gasses driving climate change and is profoundly impacted by the resulting droughts, floods, heat events, pollinator impacts, yield reductions which are leading to food insecurity, disrupted supply chains, and threats to the viability of our small and mid-scale farmer and ranchers.
Congratulations to Nourish Leadership's big milestone - becoming a standalone charitable organization!!

Starting out as a community of practice in 2016, our network has grown as we nourish leadership to see the hospital tray as a platform to dream big and transform our food and health systems.
To enable us to flourish at scale, in October 2021 we transitioned into a new charitable organization, Nourish Leadership. We continue to work with our core funders, including the McConnell Foundation, the Arrell Family Foundation, and Feed Opportunity, in addition to a growing network of funders and supporters.
Fast Company

Billions of solar panels globally will soon come to the end of their lives, but when they get thrown away, essential materials that are needed to make future panels are being wasted.

It is estimated that there will be 78 million tonnes of total waste by 2050. This is roughly 4 billion panels. But these panels have not been designed to easily extract the elements within them again to use again, so it’s likely that the majority of the panels will just be shredded in recycling. This contaminates materials, making them difficult to recover.
Why Paint Choices Matter

Manufacturers discuss priorities for healthcare facilities managers planning painting projects.

When it comes to painting projects in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, facilities managers must make a series of critical decisions. They need to narrow their priorities on materials and choose a product that not only has longevity and cleanliness but also will help ensure the finished projects will contribute to patient health. In this manufacturer roundtable, Healthcare Facilities Today asked experts to discuss painting issues managers should prioritize when planning paint and coating applications.
Non-Routine Adjustment Features in RETScreen Expert version 8.1 Webinar

As part of Efficiency Valuation and Organization’s Measurement and Verification Week 2021, Stephen Dixon and Kevin Bourque recently conducted a webinar that demonstrated the new capabilities in detail.

Join Us in the New Year for Canada's COP26 Health Programme Commitment - What's Next?

Canada signed onto the WHO’s COP26 Health Programme, thus formally committing to climate
resilient and low carbon, sustainable health systems. Now what?

Join Dr. Courtney Howard, Dr. Nick Watts and host Professor Fiona Miller for the first of three webinars exploring the implications of the federal government’s recent commitment to the COP26 Health Programme.

Speakers Dr. Courtney Howard and Dr. Nick Watts have the insiders’ perspective on what this commitment means for Canada. Dr. Howard was instrumental in the movement to encourage Canada to sign on to the Health Programme and will speak to the significance of this milestone, how we got here, and what comes next for Canada. As the Chief Sustainability Officer of the National Health Service (NHS) England, the first health service in the world to commit to reaching net zero, Dr. Watts has first-hand experience with what it means to meet sustainability commitments through system-wide change. Join us as we start to explore what it will take for Canada to translate this commitment into on-the-ground transformation.

Date: Monday, January 31, 2021
Time: 12 pm - 1 pm ET
Booking for booths at IFHE 2022 now open
"Unleashing Innovation: Healthcare Engineering Excellence"

IFHE 2022 Congress | CHES 2022 National Conference taking place September 17-21, 2022 in Toronto ON is now open. Booth space is limited.

Date: Saturday, September 12 - Wednesday, September 21, 2022

RETScreen is a Clean Energy Management Software system for energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration project feasibility analysis as well as ongoing energy performance analysis.

Have you registered as an organ donor?

Contact your local organ donation agency and speak to your family about your wishes. You have the power to save and transform lives.
The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care is Canada’s premier green health care resource network, leading the evolution of green in Canada’s health sector as a national voice and catalyst for environmental change. www.greenhealthcare.ca 
Some articles referred to in the Digest make reference to services and/or product offerings from specific suppliers. The CCGHC recommends that readers research the service and product offerings available through a wider range of suppliers for comparison purposes and in keeping with public sector purchasing guidelines. These articles should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any product or service.