The Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Agenda

The Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Agenda forms the foundation of the Network, which is a project of Health Care Without Harm. By endorsing the Agenda and committing to begin by implementing at least two of its goals, hospitals, health care facilities and health systems can join the Network.

Health professionals and academic organizations can also join the Network by endorsing the Agenda and committing to promote it to the hospitals and health systems they work with.

The Network is envisioned as a virtual community for hospitals, health systems and organizations seeking to implement and evolve the Agenda by charting progress in achieving measurable outputs, while sharing best practices and finding solutions to the challenges they share.

The GGHH network will post case studies of best practices submitted by members and continue to share and develop tools to support implementation of all ten goals. All participants in the Network are also committed to an ongoing effort at continuous improvement and taking on a growing number of the ten goals over time.

The Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Agenda sets out to support existing efforts around the world to promote greater sustainability and environmental health in the health sector, and thereby to strengthen health systems globally.

The document above provides a comprehensive framework for hospitals and health systems everywhere in the world to achieve greater sustainability and to contribute to improved public environmental health.

This framework consists of ten interconnected goals. Each contains a series of Action Items that hospitals and health systems can implement. Most hospitals will want to start with a focus on two or three goals and chart a course for specific steps to achieve them, with a plan to subsequently move on to the next challenge.

Ten Goals

LEADERSHIP: Prioritize Environmental Health

  • Prioritize environmental health as a strategic imperative
  • Demonstrate leadership support for green and healthy hospitals in order to: create long-term organizational culture change; realize widespread hospital worker and community engagement; and foster public policy that promotes environmental health.

CHEMICALS: Substitute Harmful Chemicals with Safer Alternatives

  • Substitute harmful chemicals with safer alternatives.
  • Improve the health and safety of patients, staff, communities and the environment by using safer chemicals, materials, products and processes, going beyond the requirements of environmental compliance.

WASTE: Reduce, Treat and Safely Dispose of Healthcare Waste

  • Reduce, Treat and Safely Dispose of Healthcare Waste
  • Protect public health by reducing the volume and toxicity of waste produced by the health sector, while implementing the most environmentally sound waste management and disposal options.

ENERGY: Implement Energy Efficiency and Clean, Renewable Energy Generation

  • Implement energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy generation.
  • Reduce fossil fuel energy use as a means to improve and protect public health; foster energy efficiency as well as alternative, renewable energy use with the long-term goal of 100% of energy needs to be supplied by on-site or community renewable energy sources.

WATER: Reduce Hospital Water Consumption and Supply Potable Water

  • Reduce hospital water consumption and supply potable water.
  • Implement a series of conservation, recycling and treatment measures to reduce hospital water consumption and wastewater pollution. Establish the relationship between potable water availability and healthcare resilience to withstand physical, natural, economic and social disruption. Promote public environmental health by providing potable water for the community.

TRANSPORTATION: Improve Transportation Strategies for Patients and Staff

  • Improve transportation strategies for patients and staff.
  • Develop transportation and service delivery strategies that reduce hospitals’ climate footprint and their contribution to local pollution.

FOOD: Purchase and Serve Sustainably Grown, Healthy Food

  • Purchase and serve sustainably grown, healthy food.
  • Reduce hospitals’ environmental footprint while fostering healthy eating habits in patients and staff. Support access to locally and sustainably sourced food in the community.

PHARMACEUTICALS: Safely Manage and Dispose of Pharmaceuticals

  • Prescribe appropriately, safely manage and properly dispose of pharmaceuticals.
  • Reduce pharmaceuticals pollution by reducing over-prescription practices, minimizing inappropriate pharmaceutical waste disposal, promoting manufacturer take-back, and ending the dumping of pharmaceuticals as part of disaster relief.

BUILDINGS: Support Green and Healthy Hospital Design and Construction

  • Support green and healthy hospital design and construction.
  • Reduce health care’s environmental footprint, and make hospitals healthier places to work and visit, by incorporating green building principles and practices into design and construction of health facilities.

PURCHASING: Buy Safer and More Sustainable Products and Materials

  • Buy safer and more sustainable products and materials
  • Source sustainably produced supply chain materials from socially and environmentally responsible vendors.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.