HCWH Global Newsletter | June 2015
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Health Systems Worldwide Pledge Climate Action


Leading health care institutions from across the globe are pledging to take meaningful action on climate change, kicking off a worldwide campaign to mobilize hospitals and health systems to address one of humanity’s most pressing problems in the lead-up to the UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris this December.  

Their commitment signals the launch of the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge, an international initiative from HCWH's Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) Network.  

The 2020 Challenge also marks the first international effort ever to track emissions and take measurable actions to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint. Read more
HCWH and Practice Greenhealth Divest from Fossil Fuel Holdings

HCWH and Practice Greenhealth (PGH), two leaders in environmental health, have together divested their fossil fuel investments. Employee retirement plans at both organizations are now free of fossil fuel holdings and previous holdings have been replaced with climate friendly investments. Previous fund options have been replaced with climate friendly investments free of holdings with companies involved in fossil fuel extraction.

This way, HCWH and PGH join more than 180 institutions that have divested from fossil fuels. Read more
HCWH Europe Reports on Alternatives to Phthalates and BPA in Medical Devices

As part of the start of the European Environment and Health Process Mid-term Review where WHO/Europe Member States evaluate progress and identify the next steps towards meeting the goals of the Parma Declaration on Environment and Health, HCWH Europe released its new report Non-toxic Healthcare: Alternatives to Phthalates and Bisphenol A in Medical Devices.

The report highlights how patients are routinely exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) through medical devices and provides evidence of the potential hazards these substances pose to human health and the environment, presents an analysis of safer alternatives available on the market and calls for a phase out of phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) in medical devices. Read more

Air Pollution Resolution at WHA is a Small First Step

The world's governments took an important step forward in recognizing air pollution as a major threat to human health, by issuing a resolution at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May. It follows the WHO’s finding that air pollution exposure caused 7 million premature deaths  in 2012, more than twice the death toll from HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

However, governments were unwilling or unable to address the single most significant source of both outdoor air pollution and climate change: society's dependence on fossil fuels, particularly the combustion of coal for energy generation.  

HCWH expressed concern that the magnitude and urgency of the problem continues to far outweigh the scale of the action and called for greater ambition in the form a Global Fund to address the causes and consequences of air pollution. Read more
South Africa | GGHH Members Participate in Public Health Conference

Global Green and Healthy Hospitals' (GGHH) members, Stellenbosch University and Khayelitsha Hospital travelled to share their sustainability programs at the 4th Edition of the annual African Health Congress held in Johannesburg. 

Sustainability coordinators from each hospital presented their efforts to reduce their environmental footprint including: specific projects and programs, successes, and plans for the future. Read more

Earthquake Relief | HCWH Helps Country Partner in Nepal

For the past eight years, HCWH has collaborated the Health Care Foundation Nepal (HECAF) to build sustainable health care waste management systems in hospitals across one of the world’s most impoverished countries.  In response to last month’s devastating quake, HCWH has established an emergency fund to support HECAF's work.

Contributions will help provide direct relief for staff who have lost homes and loved ones, keep sustainable healthcare waste management systems running in Nepal and provide disaster relief that builds a green, resilient health care system for the future. Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution to help HECAF.

HCWH Leads Free, Online Training Session on Healthy Food and Organic Waste

HCWH Latin America is hosting a series of new, free webinars (in Spanish) for 2015. On May 20th, the training session focused on transforming hospital organic waste into ecologically sustainable food baskets. The webinar included presenters from Brazil and was carried out both in Spanish and Portuguese simultaneously. 

These one hour webinar provided background and technical informational about the actions hospitals can take to achieve their sustainability goals as well as case examples, success stories and lessons learned by the speakers. Access video and presentations (in Spanish)
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