Earth Day is April 22, 2017!

With Earth Day just around the corner, it's time to celebrate this year's campaign: E nvironmental and Climate Literacy. 

Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection.

To celebrate our beautiful planet, NASA invited people to submit pictures of their favourite place on Earth - compiled in this beautiful, four-minute video

Check out Earth Day Canada, and how you can get involved. Click here for toolkits, resources, and ideas to promote Earth Day at your facility, or check out UHN's Earth Week events!

Atmospheric CO levels accelerate upwards, smashing records.  Every major nation in the world has agreed that climate change must be limited to a maximum of +2°C in global warming. Beyond that point, we risk destabilizing droughts, floods, mega-storms, heat waves, food shortages, and climate extremes. The best climate science says that staying below +2°C means we can't exceed 450 ppm of CO₂.

Despite decades of global efforts towards climate policies, clean energy and efficiency, CO₂ levels continue to rise and are actually accelerating upwards, according to the  newest CO2 data released by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Moreover, Canadian  CO₂ extraction is playing an oversized role.
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Medical Community Gathers Steam to Tackle Climate’s Health Effects. Nearly 30 years ago, Alexander Leaf, MD, drew a bold analogy. " Changes brewing in climate and the environment may be just as harmful to human health as nuclear war," he wrote. Leaf passed away in 2013, but his message has flourished. In the 1990s, his essay  Potential Health Effects of Global Climatic and Environmental Changes spurred development of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Some medical schools now offer courses in climate and health, and additional education programs are cropping up for practicing physicians. Read more.
Climate Change Best Practices: Resiliency Profiles
The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care is excited to share our newest Climate Change Resiliency Profiles, featuring Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. These two case studies join six others that profile real climate-change related events and how health care facilities have responded. Read the other resiliency Profiles here.
Less Meat, More Options, Better Health. With the science clear on the impending public health impact of climate change and the absence of national policies to protect us from further progression, hospitals and health professionals are using the tools they have at their disposal to protect our future.

In particular, hospitals are removing meat, particularly meat raised conventionally, from the centre of the plate or off it entirely. A new report released by Health Care Without Harm,  Redefining Protein: Adjusting Diets to Protect Public Health and Conserve Resources, distills current research to reveal the human, environmental, and social impacts of the production of high-protein foods other than meat to arm hospitals with key information to design the healthiest plate. Read more

Dramatic Increase in Levels of Toxic Flame Retardant Among Americans.  Chlorinated organophosphate flame retardants (CIOPFRs) are among the most commonly detected flame retardants in furniture and electronics. Since they are not chemically bound to products, they migrate into indoor air and dust, where they can be inhaled or ingested. Unfortunately, although CIOPFRs were introduced as an alternative to the previous family of health harming PBDE flame retardants, they have also been linked to negative health outcomes such as  cancer and  neurodevelopmental damage. A group of researchers led by Duke University recently  conducted a review of 14 previous studies to look at trends in levels of flame retardant metabolite levels in the urine of subjects. They found that between 2002 and 2015, levels of chlorinated Tris (TDCIPP) metabolites increased fifteenfold among adults, and by a factor of four among children between 2010 and 2015. Read more
Green Hospital Scorecard Webinar Series Kicks Off Today!
The Coalition will be hosting the following FREE webinars in the coming weeks:

Low-Carbon Resilient Power for Hospitals in the Near Future
Thursday, April 20th 11 AM - 12 PM EDT
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems are of high interest for their ability to provide resilient power to health care facilities. Join us to hear about the EU's Horizon program on powering CHP with alternative energy systems specifically designed for European hospitals, and what is happening in Canada on CHP.
Guest speakers: Dr. Philippe Schild and Martin Lensink.

Green Hospital Scorecard Top Performers Webinar
Tuesday, April 25th 11 AM - 12 PM EDT
Join us as we present this year's Green Health Awards to top performers in each category (Energy, Water, Waste, and Green Hospital of the Year), recognize runners-up, and have presentations on Green initiatives from some of the top scorers.

Green Hospital Scorecard Energy Focus Webinar
Thursday, April 27th, 11 AM - 12 PM EDT
Join us as we  highlight the most energy efficient hospitals as well as innovative energy initiatives in health care.

Instructions to Join the Webinars (same info for all sessions):
At 11 AM EDT, click the link to view the slide show:
For audio, call in via internet using the link above, or dial one of the following local numbers, and enter the conference ID: 963-150-898#.

Canada - Brantford+1.226.401.9363
Canada - Charlottetown+1.902.200.0149
Canada - Edmonton+1.587.415.0177
Canada - Montreal+1.514.800.1233
Canada - Ottawa+1.613.699.9318
Canada - Quebec+1.581.705.4251
Canada - Saskatchewan+1.306.400.1019
Canada - Toronto+1.647.977.2648
Canada - Vancouver+1.778.654.8779
Canada - Winnipeg+1.204.500.0399

We look forward to sharing the successes of the 2016 Green Hospital Scorecard program with you!

National Health Leadership Conference
Value-based healthcare: Embracing a patient and family-centered approach   

June 12-13, 2017    
Vancouver, British Columbia
This conference is the largest national gathering of health system decision-makers in Canada including trustees, chief executive officers, directors, managers, department heads and other health leaders representing various sectors and professions in health regions, authorities and alliances, hospitals, long-term care organizations, public health agencies, community care, mental health and social services. As well, the conference draws participants from government, education and research organizations, professional associations, consulting firms and industry.

The conference will include two sessions dealing with sustainability issues: 

1. Finding and Framing the Value of Food in Health Care, offered by NOURISH program participants Shelly Crack from Haida Gwai Hospital and Michelle Nelson from Covenent Health and leaders from the McConnell Foundation Beth Hunter and Hayley Lapalme. See more info at: 

2. Come Hell or High Water: Building Resilience, Managing Risk and Gaining Returns from Climate Change, presented by the Coalition's Green Health Leader Neil Ritchie, Deanna Fourt from Island Health and Angie Woo from Lower Mainland Health. See more detail at:

  Knowledge Sessions 2017
RCO will be hosting and facilitating a trio of Knowledge Sessions in 2017 that aim to educate and empower members, interested stakeholders and the public to better understand, support, and accelerate the transition from a linear model of take-make-dispose to a circular economy. 

The series will inform participants on the theory of circular economy and how it is creating change around the globe. It will offer businesses, policymakers, and organizations innovative examples that outline ideas and opportunities how to leverage this emerging economic model. All Knowledge Sessions will be held at the  Beanfield Centre in Toronto.

Upcoming sessions:

Session 2: Thursday, May 4, 2017 
Advancing the Circular Economy through Buying Power  
Beyond Policy and into Practice
Speakers: Mathy Stanislaus & Dr. Mervyn Jones

Session 3: Thursday, June 8, 2017  
Accelerating Circular Economic Behaviour and Waste Reduction in the
IC&I Sector

RCO Member Rate: $300

Non-Member Rate (early bird to April 20): $375 
Non-Member Rate (April 21 - May 2): $425 
Event Location:  Beanfield Centre 

Registration for CleanMed 2017 Now Open
Anchoring Healthy Communities
May 16-18, 2017
Minneapolis, Minnesota

This year, CleanMed will introduce “Mind Meetings” through the CleanMed mobile app. Attendees can download the app and connect in 10-minute rapid-fire meetings on the expo floor with other attendees, speakers, coaches, staff, and others they may want to chat with. More information will be at closer to the conference date.    

Make sure to secure your spot ASAP as there is a very limited housing block at the Hilton Minneapolis Downtown. To secure the special rate of $201 per night, visit
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