The fingerprints of climate change can be found on a host of worsening health problems, from respiratory ailments to vector-borne diseases.
Since our environment impacts our health, healthcare organizations are perfectly positioned to lead communities in addressing climate change.
How well an organization can cope during extreme weather events, such as storms, heat waves and cold snaps, and how it mitigates the causes of climate change, shows resilience and leadership.
As climate change is caused largely by people burning fossil fuels for energy – for heating, electricity, cooling, transportation, and to make the products we use and dispose of – anything organizations do to reduce energy consumption helps fight climate change.
Going for gold
With a long history of proactive work in sustainability, UHN has been honoured with two international awards through the 2020 Healthcare Climate Challenge: Gold in Climate Leadership and Gold in Climate Resiliency.
This challenge is courtesy of Global Green & Healthy Hospitals, a project of Heath Care Without Harm. With 1,005 members in 51 countries on six continents, the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals community includes more than 32,000 hospitals and health centres.
This is the third year in a row UHN has been awarded by this organization.
Sustainability at UHN
UHN has been a green leader for years, with its own embedded Energy & Environment Department since 1999 and more than 700 green team members promoting energy-wise and waste-reducing behaviours.
It has partnered with organizations such as the Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare, utilizing their "Healthcare Facility Climate Change Resiliency Toolkit." UHN has become a climate change resiliency mentor to other healthcare organizations across Canada, from New Brunswick to British Columbia.
UHN continuously works to reduce energy consumption, reduce waste and biohazards, all of which help shrink our environmental footprint.
Examples of energy efficiency projects include converting lights to LEDs and adding occupancy sensors; Deep Lake Cooling; heating/air conditioning/ventilation changes to more efficient motors and drives; and optimizing building automation systems.
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