Why the Healthcare Industry Must Go Green to Limit the Impacts From Climate Change

By path2positive

Green business is not only a trend, it's a modern-day necessity. These days, few businesses can survive without focusing on energy efficiency and, therefore, lowering costs. The healthcare industry is also finding the need to keep up with the times. It makes perfect sense that hospitals, for example, with their overarching goal of nurturing the health of their patients, promote sustainability to strengthen health systems globally. In fact, that is just what Global Green and Healthy Hospitals is doing. Similarly, the Healthier Hospitals Initiative works to get healthcare organizations across the United States to join the shift to a more sustainable business model, and challenges them to address the health and environmental impacts of their industry. But, as Jim Weglewski writes in GreenBiz below, "There may be no other sector of our economy better poised to positively impact our future climate than the building industry. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential and commercial buildings were responsible for 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption in 2013 — a figure that does not include the energy impacts associated with manufacturing, transporting or disposing of building products." So, it turns out, not only do hospitals have their own incentives to focus on environmental health, but they are considered a significant part of a much broader and powerful industry: that of the built environment. If we want to limit the impacts of climate change, healthcare must go green.

We Need a Business Renaissance to Address Climate Change


Jim Weglewski I July 21, 2015

Renaissance. The word evokes an era of unprecedented enlightenment. A turning point of invention, fresh thinking and possibility. It’s happened in business before and is happening again, as the world’s businesses are rapidly aligning to a new set of rules that will render our old operating habits obsolete.

The quickening reality of climate change is re-writing the rules of prosperity. And with new rules come new challenges. Climate change is, at once, both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity of our time. For those with the insight to motivation to meet the escalating needs of our changing society, the rewards will be great. 

This optimistic perspective of reinvention and progress drove Andersen Corporation to sign the Ceres Climate Declaration, becoming only the second of two major building products companies to do so.

Created in 2013, the declaration seeks to accelerate the adoption of sustainable business practices to build a healthy global economy. It is based on the belief that vast gains can be made when businesses work together to do the right thing. Signatories of the declaration value this collaborative commitment as a powerful force of change in the face of our deeply entrenched energy challenges.

Today, the business of most building product suppliers is largely driven by energy efficiency and cost. Low-cost products that help customers reduce their energy consumption can yield a clear return on investment over traditional, less efficient technology.

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