June 21st, 2024

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Honouring Indigenous Peoples Day

Today, we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day by acknowledging and honouring the rich cultures, traditions, and histories of Indigenous communities. In the health care sector, let's recognize the contributions of Indigenous people and commit to address health disparities, promoting equity, and providing culturally competent care to Indigenous patients.

The Green Office Challenge

The Coalition, PEACH Health Ontario and the HFHT Green Team, with sponsorship from HP, are hosting a NATIONAL COMPETITION to determine the greenest primary care office in the Country! 


Did you set up LED lights in your office? Did you rid your office of examination table paper? Do you have deprescribing strategies in your practice? Primary Care practices, take this challenge and celebrate the amazing progress that you have been making to go green in your office! 


The Ask: Answer questions and score your practice in the different areas of sustainability. HINT: The scorecard is heavily guided by the Green Office Toolkit.


Timeline: Winners will be announced in Fall 2024.

Prize: Being awarded the title of having the Greenest Primary Care Office in Canada and a complementary prize.

Access the questionnaire

WEBINAR - Preparing for climate change at health care facilities: Air quality and smoke management

Date: July 10th, 2024

Time: 9am PT/12pm ET

Poor air quality caused by wildfire smoke poses major health risks for individuals and communities.

With climate-related emergencies expected to worsen in the coming years, health care facilities will need to act swiftly to disaster-proof life-saving infrastructure to protect vulnerable patients and the health care workforce. For smoke-related issues, this may require essential structural and ventilation interventions.

Join the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, PEACH Health Ontario and CASCADES as we welcome Dr. Courtney Howard to discuss the health impacts of smoke and Abdel Darwhich to detail smoke management for health care settings.

Register here


CAPE Advocacy and Mobilization Program

The Advocacy and Mobilization Program (AMP) is an accredited capacity-building program for health care providers (HCPs) who wish to become effective planetary health advocates.

AMP is building a growing network of planetary health advocates among HCPs by training participants on effective communications, media, and government relations skills, and by providing mobilization opportunities to get involved in campaigns.

Applications for Cohort 3 are open until August 11th, 2024.

Learn more and apply

Building on the best: Examining targets and best practices of highly energy efficient new hospitals

Join Greening Health Care for this in-person event as they go behind the curtain to understand the planning, design, commissioning and operational practices responsible for world-class standards of energy performance. Learn about the challenges and solutions which can help every new hospital meet and exceed standards, as the essential first step for achieving net zero.

Date: September 4th, 2024

Time: 8:30am - 3:00pm ET

Location: Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, Vaughan, ON

Register Now


Heart patients in green environments live longer, finds B.C. scientist

Vancouver is Awesome

Patients recovering from heart surgery are more likely to live longer when they surround themselves with nature, a new study has found. 

The study, published in the journal Psychosocial Epidemiology, tracked more than 3,100 Israeli patients who had gone through a common coronary bypass surgery between 2004 and 2009. Those who lived closer to green spaces were found to have a seven per cent lower risk of mortality. 

Michael Brauer, a researcher at the University of British Columbia and a co-author on the paper, said his team controlled for factors like a drop in air pollution and exercise. He said the results offer a robust set of evidence that suggests even low levels of green space can have a big impact on health. 

Read more


Regional anesthesia initiative is improving how we care for patients, and the planet

Vancouver Coastal Health

​Across Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), they're seeing many transformative projects that are improving health systems and environmental sustainability. A new project, supported by a VCH and Boehringer Ingelheim collaboration, is focusing on the delivery of high-quality, lower-carbon care by expanding regional anesthesia programs across VCH.

Regional anesthesia has a whole host of benefits. It decreases patients' post-surgery pain, nausea and vomiting; causes fewer adverse events and complications; and also reduces length of stay. It improves surgical team and operating department experience and efficiency. And, as we work to reduce the health system's environmental impact, it reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when compared with inhaled anesthesia.

Learn more

Senate passes long-awaited legislation to tackle environmental racism in Canada

David Suzuki Foundation

Advocates for social justice and equity, environmental protection and public health celebrate the Senate’s passage of Bill C-226, the National Strategy on Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice Act (Environmental Justice Strategy Act).

On June 13th, the Environmental Justice Strategy Act passed the Senate’s third reading vote, with royal assent expected soon and representing that final step in the legislative process.

The Environmental Justice Strategy Act will require the government to examine the links between racialization, socio-economic status and environmental risk, and develop Canada’s first national strategy on environmental racism and environmental justice.

Read more

Climate literacy courses now publicaly available

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Public Service Climate Literacy suite is now publicly accessible. You can access Climate Literacy Foundations, Contributing to a Net-zero Canada and Adapting to a Changing Climate in Canada at the links below to explore how our lives and our work affect the climate, and how the changing climate affects us. These courses were authored by national climate leaders and share a vision for a pathway to a resilient, net-zero Canada. Initially developed to support climate literacy learning within the federal public service, these courses are now available to support climate learning of all Canadians

Applying Climate Literacy Foundations

Contributing to a Net-Zero Canada

Adapting to a Changing Climate in Canada

Choosing Wisely and climate action

The health care sector is responsible for nearly 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This occurs through a variety of routes, ranging from the material waste produced in the course of health care delivery to the harmful gases released in certain procedures, to the carbon-intensive processes involved in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and other health care products.

Every unnecessary test, treatment, and procedure is therefore an opportunity to make a positive contribution towards the health of our patients and the planet. By eliminating practices that do not add value to patient care, you’re not only avoiding potential harms associated with overuse, but also netting benefit to the environment. This is the co-benefit of doing Choosing Wisely.

Learn more


Can a diet that's good for the planet reduce your risk of dying from disease?


A diet promoting plant-based protein to help the environment now has a more human argument: It may lower your risk of dying from several major diseases. 

Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, co-authored a new study looking at the Planetary Health Diet (PHD) — which he helped develop in 2019 as part of the EAT-Lancet Commission — and its effects on mortality. The diet advises plant-based proteins such as nuts and legumes, more fruit and vegetable consumption as well as healthy, unsaturated fats — while decreasing animal-based sources of protein and added sugars

The new study, published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at decades of diet data from more than 200,000 health-care workers in the United States. 

Learn more


Helping ensure safety and reliability of electric vehicle energy management systems

Electric Autonomy

Widespread deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) requires consideration of their electrical demand.

What will happen when millions of EVs start charging overnight? Some experts believe this will create an energy demand problem. Collaboration with electrical utilities is critical to align generation and transmission infrastructure capacity to meet increasing needs.

EV charging may also require adapting electrical infrastructure and installations in buildings not designed to accommodate such loads. EV energy management systems (EVEMS) may offer a solution to these challenges, helping maximize the usage efficiency of existing electrical infrastructure and avoid costly capacity upgrades.

Learn more

PHC’s new Transit Discount Program encourages sustainable commuting habits


Last year, Providence Health Care (PHC)(B.C.) launched a Transit Discount Program (TDP) for employees, making it more attractive to commute sustainably via TransLink.

Eligible employees (regular full-/part-time) can receive a 50% subsidy on monthly TransLink 1-, 2- or 3-zone passes or stored value of either $25 or $50 per month.

In the first five months of the program, over 2,000 PHC employees enrolled. This near-instant popularity can be attributed to the significant savings the new program offers. Previously, eligible staff could enroll in a 15% transit subsidy. Now, with the subsidy increased to 50%, enrollments have quadrupled compared to the same time last year.

Read more


Hospitals are energy hogs. These clever design choices are making them greener

Fast Company

Hospitals and life sciences labs expend tremendous amounts of energy saving lives. Now, architects are devising new ways to make sure their energy usage—which represent 4.4% of the world’s total carbon emissions—is as green as possible. 

With these types of buildings, owners, operators, and tenants tend to be mission-driven and science-oriented, so working in a space that cuts emissions (and the health problems they create) has become an increasingly important client demand.

Learn more

Health Sciences Centre Designated as a Choosing Wisely Hospital

NL Health Services

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Health Services is pleased to share that the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s has been recognized as a Choosing Wisely Canada Hospital at the “Quality Improvement Status” level.

The Health Sciences Centre is the first hospital in the country to receive this status within Choosing Wisely Canada’s new designation program which recognizes hospitals that take deliberate action to reduce overuse and demonstrate organisational commitment to minimizing waste and harm.

Read more

Congratulations to the 2024 ENERGY STAR Canada Award Winners!

Energy Star

ENERGY STAR Canada is pleased to announce the winners of the 21st annual ENERGY STAR Canada Awards. The winners are program participants and stakeholders from across Canada representing utilities, manufacturers, retailers, associations, homebuilders, and buildings. Each winner has demonstrated excellence in developing and promoting energy-efficient products, homes and buildings in Canada during the past year.

Congratulations to all the winners and in particular the following health care facilities:

  • Building of the Year—Hospital: Saint John Regional Hospital
  • Building of the Year—Medical Office: Etobicoke Wellness Centre
  • Building of the Year—Senior Living Community and Residential Care Facility: Sunrise of Windsor


Read more about the winners

RETScreen® Version 9.0

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.


Watershed moments: Diverse action for water stewardship across BC health care

Date: June 26th, 2024

Time: 12:00pm-1:20pm PT

This GreenCare Lunch and Learn shares stories of water threats and

stewardship from different parts of the province: coordinated action across BC health care regions, the scaling of ozone laundry technology, a nurse’s water conservation project and


Register HERE.

Indigenous foodways and food prescribing research insights for Canadian health care

Nourish is leading two field scans on areas of strong promise to transform how we view food as a key part of Canadian health care. Both field scans are underway, and Nourish is hosting two webinars to share key findings.

Attend the Food Prescribing Field Scan Webinar on June 26th, 2024 and the

Indigenous Foodways in Health Care Field Scan Webinar on June 27th, 2024.

Learn more and register.

Reducing the risks of fleet electrification: When to bring in the experts

Date: June 26th, 2024

Time: 1:00pm ET

Join this panel discussion to learn when to bring in technology partners throughout the fleet electrification process, and how reliable information and practical strategies help reduce risk at every stage of the transition. You'll gain valuable insights around the software, hardware and operational guidance that ensures a smooth transition.

Register 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. www.greenhealthcare.ca 

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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