The Role of Transportation in Achieving Hospital Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals
By: Julie Moyle, Outreach and Engagement Specialist, Practice Greenhealth (GGHH’s implementation arm in the US)
If your sustainability priorities don’t include a transportation program and strategies to reduce transportation-related emissions, you are missing a big opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation as a sector is the fastest growing source of worldwide carbon pollution, and contributes 27 percent of annual U.S. GHGs, exceeded only by energy production/consumption, which comprises 29 percent of annual U.S. GHGs.
Practice Greenhealth is gearing up for the release of its Transportation Goal and Toolkit, which walks hospitals and health systems through proven strategies to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation. As major community employers, hospitals are in a position to scale the health, financial, and environmental benefits of transportation by offering alternatives to driving alone to work and working with business partners to reduce the impacts of material distribution and service provision. Hospitals can also reduce transportation-related emissions by purchasing or leasing low- or zero-emission fleet vehicles and technologies, implementing idle-reduction technologies and practices on their campuses, and incorporating EPA SmartWay partnership status and idle-reduction specifications into vendor selection criteria.