Hospitals, health systems and health organizations representing the interests of more than 3,500 hospitals from six continents today launched the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network (GGHHN), an international initiative to reduce the health sector’s ecological footprint and promote public environmental health.

One in a series of events to be held around the world in 2012, the launch took place at the 20th Annual Conference of the International Health Promoting Hospitals, where 33 new hospitals from countries as diverse as Thailand, Sweden, the Philippines, Nigeria and Taiwan committed to endorse the Network and undertake a series of initiatives to green their facilities.

“We know that in many parts of the world, hospitals consume large amounts of energy, chemicals, water and other resources,” said Josh Karliner, International Coordinator for Health Care Without Harm, which has led the establishment of theNetwork.  “What is new here is that hospitals and health systems are coming together across borders and committing to take leadership to address their impacts on the environment and human health.   As part of the Network they are setting goals to transform everything from how they build, to the products they use, to how they manage their waste, in order to promote healthier environments.”

A similar launch took place in early April in theUnited States, where a sister Network facilitated by Health Care Without Harm, the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, was joined by major health systems representing 500U.S.hospitals and US $20 billion in purchasing power.   Other founding members of the GGHHN include a broad set of organizations, ranging from the Sustainability Unit of England’s National Health Service, to the Indonesia Hospital Association, the international health NGO FHI360, the Environment Task Force of the Health Promoting Hospitals (HPH) Network, as well as individual hospitals from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, India and Nepal.

“We are pleased to join the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network,” said Dr. Shu Ti Chiou, Chair of the HPH Environment Task Force and host of the event.  “By reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste and implementing green purchasing policies, hospitals can promote greater public health, while also providing leadership for the rest of society.  We look forward to taking on this challenge.”

Members of the Network will establish specific goals for reducing their environmental footprint and the report on their progress on an annual basis.  They will also share case studies and best practices with one another via the Network’s website, www.greenhospitals.net.

“This launch represents both the bringing together of wide array of initiatives for sustainability in the health sector, and the global scale-up of the green health care movement,” said Merci Ferrer, South East Asia Coordinator for Health Care Without Harm.   “We will be working with hospitals, health systems and health organizations throughout world to realize this potential.”

Launch events for the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network will also be held in Brazil,Sweden, the Philippines, Australia and other countries over the course of 2012.

For more information see: www.greenhospitals.net

Contact:

  • Josh Karliner, HCWH International Coordinator, +14156135386,josh@hcwh.org
  • Merci Ferrer, HCWH-Southeast Asia, +639209056113; merci@no-harm.org
  • Dr. Shu Ti Chiou, Director-General, Bureau of Health Promotion, Department of Health, Taiwan; Vice Chair, International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services; Chair, International Task Force on Health Promoting Hospitals and Environment; +886229978616 ext. 100;stchiou@bhp.doh.gov.tw
  • Source: Asia: Taiwan Takes Part in Global Call For Green Health Care, Taiwan Today, Publication Date:04/12/2012