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Greening our way into 2013

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In 2012, the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care (www.greenhealthcare.ca) reached more people and organisations than ever before. We dramatically expanded our membership among health care facilities and health systems, as well as environmentally-conscious businesses, non-profit groups and individual environmental champions. Today, the Coalition’s health care members represent over a quarter of all hospital beds in Canada, and our business associates include some of the largest and most innovative health service companies in the world.

Thanks to sponsorship from Philips Lighting, we delivered the free online Canadian Green Health Care Digest each week in 2012, providing the latest green health care news and event information to thousands across Canada and beyond. In July, at Norfolk General Hospital (NGH), we held the first official session of ‘Getting to Green’, the environmentally-sustainable health care workshop, which was developed with support from Johnson & Johnson. Highlighted by a tour of NGH’s facility and a fabulous local food lasagna for lunch, the workshop was a huge success, with attendees from a wide variety of health care organisations coming together to learn and share their expertise on greening health care. We also kicked off our ‘GreenWeb’ educational series over the summer with a webinar on local food for health care. Green Web webinars will continue throughout the year. Watch the Digest for announcements.

Our initiatives in 2012 targeted some of the most exciting and impactful areas where health care is going green. Notably, we studied hospital food provision and identified opportunities for local and sustainable food options in health care with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, and we launched the ENERGY STAR Health Care Energy Leadership Program (HELP) with support from Natural Resources Canada, aiming to bring meaningful energy efficiency resources and strategies into focus for health care facilities nationwide.

Given our 2012 base of solid successes, 2013 looks extremely promising with even more opportunities for the Coalition to work with the health care community to enhance environmental sustainability and practices that protect human health and decrease health care’s impact upon our fragile environment. With funding from Ontario Centres of Excellence and a consortium of business partners led by Trane, we’re going to be piloting Green Revolving Fund and model for health care energy projects, a national first.

We are also working with health care leaders in Nova Scotia to study the resiliency of health care facilities to climate change and extreme weather events, supported by the Nova Scotia Climate Change Adaptation Fund, and our partners, Health Canada, the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society, and Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority. And we’re going to continue to building and enhancing the national network of green health care supporters. If you want to become a part of Canada’s premier integrated green health care resource network; a national voice and catalyst for environmental change, check us out at www.greenhealthcare.ca or email feedback@greenhealthcare.ca


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