Although Earth Month is over, the effect of its celebrations serves as a call to action for health care organizations to mitigate their negative environmental impact and prioritize environmental sustainability. And this energy is increasingly being matched at a policy level—to date, at least 45 countries have committed to reforms that will increase the environmental sustainability and lower the emissions of their health systems.
Infographic: 3 ways your climate change inaction will hurt your bottom line
However, many of these efforts are phrased in ways that leave room for interpretation. For health care stakeholders, diagnosing the problem and making progress can be difficult when there is little clarity on what competencies "environmental sustainability" encompasses and how to sort the signal from the noise. We've compiled a non-exhaustive glossary of terms for health care stakeholders to conceptualize "environmental sustainability" and its components in order to make progress.
With a firmer grip of the terminology, health care organizations wishing to act may still struggle to define their own problems and their role in solving them. To help organizations get started, we've created a list of questions that executives can bring to board meetings to initiate conversations on climate action and environmental sustainability.
Health care organizations have historically shied away from acting against climate change. However, it's important to remember that climate change will not only adversely impact your patients' health, but it will also impact your bottom line in a multitude of different ways. It is therefore important for organizations to act to prevent the negative health impacts on their patients and ensure their business remains in good standing.
It is vital for all stakeholders to open up these conversations if the health care sector is to reduce its significant impact on the environment. And asking these types of questions may be the start to ensuring that your organization is prepared for oncoming climate challenges.
Is your organization pursuing sustainability initiatives? Share your story with us by emailing Jinia Sarkar (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Miles Cottier (email@example.com).
Most health care leaders know they should act against climate change. But little urgency exists to make organizational changes in large part because leaders believe that climate change problems are too big for any one actor to solve. Sadly, this belief causes leaders to overlook the many additional climate change consequences that will significantly impact their business operations.
This infographic explores three major consequences that climate change inaction will have on health care organizations’ bottom lines. It translates the systemic, global problem of climate change into the business priorities of individual organizations. Localizing the problem is the first step to making the actionable and sustainable changes necessary to prepare for the climate change challenges ahead.
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