May 23rd, 2024

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Providing end-of-life care at home has environmental benefits: study

A study led by Canadian researchers sheds new light on how to approach decreasing the carbon footprint of our health care system by thinking critically about end-of-life care.

The study, led by a team at McMaster University and published on May 8 in The Lancet Planetary Health, reveals a “triple win:” what is best for patients is also best for the health care system and its costs and the environment.

"Environmental sustainability is a lens we can look through across the life-course, including end-of-life care decision-making. We know that dying in hospital is resource-heavy, and more importantly, not the place where Canadians want to spend their final days. Finding solutions that help people age and pass away peacefully in their home is ideal. It’s good for the individual and their family, more affordable for the health system, and better for our planet. A rare triple-win.” – Dr. Myles Sergeant

Read the article

Project Update: Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative

In March 2024 the Coalition celebrated the conclusion of our Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI) which aimed to increase public and industry awareness, knowledge and confidence in battery-powered micro-mobility (BPMM) solutions, as well as accelerate the adoption of these solutions by targeting the health and social services sector.

With the assistance and collaboration of over two dozen leading organisations from within the Canadian health sector, and funding support from Natural Resources Canada, the Coalition has been able to develop an extensive portfolio of BPMM collateral for use by health care organisations and advocates seeking to enhance the development and adoption of BPMM policies and practices while improving their understanding of the many benefits and opportunities that accrue from their use.

Read the media release
Visit the project webpage


Heat-Related Emergency Department Visits — United States, May–September 2023


Unprecedented heat waves can affect all persons, but some are more sensitive to the effects of heat, including children and adults with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, and outdoor workers. Many regions of the United States experienced record-breaking high temperatures in 2023, with populations exposed to extremely high temperatures for prolonged periods.

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined emergency department (ED) visits associated with heat-related illness (HRI) and compared daily HRI ED visit rates during the warm-season months (May–September) of 2023 with those during 2018–2022. In the 2023 warm-season months, daily HRI ED visit rates peaked in several regions and remained elevated for a prolonged duration. More males than females sought care in EDs for HRI, especially males aged 18–64 years.

Learn more


Ending plastic pollution: An opportunity for health

The Lancet

The Anthropocene can be defined by plastic: cheap, convenient, incredibly durable, and endlessly adaptable. 21st century medicine would be unimaginable without it: from intravenous tubes to gowns; syringes to catheters. Plastics have become integral to modern life. This ubiquity though comes at an increasingly recognised cost.

Plastic manufacturing can be a dirty business, produced from petrochemicals and often modified with additives—including carcinogens and endocrine disruptors—that can later leach into us or the environment. There is much to learn about their effects on human health.

No one policy will eliminate plastic pollution and there are many steps that could help, including a ban on plastic waste export, regulation to ensure transparency about the content of plastics, and a dedicated research agenda. But two key high-impact interventions would make the situation hugely more tractable.

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TV News touts Canada's progress in medical waste


The Global Television Network recently aired a prime-time news segment on its nightly Global National news program on the need to reduce hospital waste, including personal protective equipment (PPE) such as disposable isolation gowns.

News journalist Eric Sorensen, noted that while McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, provides lifesaving services, it also produces three tons of waste per day. These include disposable “single-use” surgical instruments, as well as disposable gloves, masks and single-use isolation gowns.

The hospital management there and in many other health care institutions across Canada are embracing the need for more reusable items, including gowns, which can undergo up to 75 “turns” or uses before retirement. The news broadcast included footage from Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service’s laundry in Abbotsford, British Columbia, which processes thousands of reusable iso gowns daily. 

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Reducing GHG emissions and strengthening leadership

Health Care Without Harm

This case study reports on the challenges and path that a large public hospital in Brazil faced to reduce GHG emissions by 33.40% in five years.

Goals included measuring emissions with GHG protocol tools creating indicators, and assessing risks, as well as strengthening climate leadership, resilience, and mitigation with training and education for professionals and students.

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Using your voice to drive climate action

Health Care Without Harm

Health care professionals have a valuable voice that can play a vital role in shaping policies, promoting sustainable practices, and raising awareness about the urgent need for climate action.

This resource equips health care professionals with the communications tools and knowledge to effectively leverage their influence and use their voices to advocate for climate action within the health care sector and beyond.

Access the resource


From Prophecy to Plate: How to Actualize a Planetary Menu for Kidney Disease Nutrition

National Library of Medicine

Climate change and chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a bidirectional relationship, where excessive heat, air pollution, and resource shortages all contribute to worse outcomes for people with CKD.

As food production is a major component of our environmental stewardship, efforts in choosing foods that require fewer resource utilization in their production and that offer the highest nutrition yields for inputs, will support planetary health goals.

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Revolutionizing hospital cuisine for healthier patients and a healthier planet

Hospital News

At the time of hospital admission, an alarming 45 per cent of people across Canada are at risk of malnutrition due to illness and injury.

Prioritizing providing appealing, nutrient-dense meals to patients not only accelerates their recovery but also reduces waste and makes financial sense for the whole health care system.

It’s clear that we need a culinary revolution in our health care institutions. 

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Upcoming NRCan ZEVIP RFP will include funding, reporting changes to improve EV charger reliability

Electric Autonomy

Dedicated funding for EV charger maintenance and requirements for ongoing charger uptime disclosure are two of the primary new additions coming to the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) when it opens its next request for proposals in the coming weeks.

These revisions are designed to improve the reliability of new charging infrastructure funded by the program — which, since 2019, has supported installation of more than 27,000 public EV charging ports and more than public 11,000 EV charging stations across Canada.

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Low carbon climate resilient health care facility design

CSA Group

The report on "Low Carbon Climate Resilient Health Care Facilities" from the CSA Group outlines the outcomes of a workshop which identified several themes crucial for the integration of climate change considerations, such as the need for holistic policy integration, investment in resilient infrastructure, and the adoption of low-carbon technologies and practices.

The report emphasizes the importance of incorporating these insights into the upcoming edition of CSA Z8000 to ensure that health care facilities can effectively address and adapt to climate-related challenges​.

Learn more

Major upgrades to CHEO for cleaner, healthier air and energy savings

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Canadians are calling for ambitious climate action that keeps the air clean while building a strong and clean economy for the future.

On May 9th, 2024 Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced an investment of up to $1 million from the Low Carbon Economy Fund to support the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario’s (CHEO) Deep Energy Retrofit Program.

Highlights of the project include the installation of a new energy recovery system and re-engineering of its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

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Release of RETScreen® Version 9.1

Version 9.1 of the RETScreen® Clean Energy Management Software platform is now available for download from the RETScreen website. This update has arrived with a number of salient new features to enhance the RETScreen experience!

One of the latest features is an automated Net Zero Planning Tool which further enables portfolio-wide decarbonization planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting – all available within one single multilingual platform. Learn more about the new tool HERE.


Policy and Advocacy Forum PFAS Webinar

Date: June 6th, 2024

Time: 12pm PT

The June 6th 2024 Policy and Advocacy Call will feature a PFAS Panel Presentation featuring 3 advocates discussing the recently finalized PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation and what this means for nurses and patients. Discussion of PFAS policy being enacted at the state level will also be discussed.

Register HERE.

ONE Webinar: Sacred Earth Solar

Date: May 27th, 2024

Time: 7:00-8:30pm ET

The Ontario Nurses for the Environment will be hosting a webinar with Sacred Earth Solar, an indigenous, women-led organisation. The discussion will be at the intersection of health, climate action and indigenous-led initiatives.

Register HERE.

CleanMed Free Webinar Series

The Destination CleanMed series featured discussions building momentum for CleanMed 2024.

Webinar topics included The Value of Clinical Leadership in Advancing Sustainability, Reducing Food Waste to Feed Your Community and Save Money, and Health Care Supply Chain 101: Leveraging the Power of Procurement.

You can now view the webinar recordings HERE.

Registration is Now Open! CHES 2024 National Conference - Sept. 8th-10th

The 2024 CHES National Chapter Conference & Trade Show will be held in Halifax Nova Scotia on September 8th-10th.

The theme for this year’s conference is: "Enriching Patient Experiences by Optimizing the Environment" 


Registration is now open!

Register here

Have you registered as an organ donor?

Contact your local organ donation agency and speak to your family about your wishes. You have the power to save and transform lives. Learn more and register to donate HERE.

The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care is Canada’s premier green health care resource network, leading the evolution of green in Canada’s health sector as a national voice and catalyst for environmental change. 

Some articles referred to in the Digest make reference to services and/or product offerings from specific suppliers. The CCGHC recommends that readers research the service and product offerings available through a wider range of suppliers for comparison purposes and in keeping with public sector purchasing guidelines. These articles should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any product or service.
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