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Tracking Healthcare's Environmental Impact

The health-care sector is threatened by the increasing impacts of global environmental change, but is also a significant contributor to the problem. Recent estimates suggest health care is responsible for between two and five per cent of global greenhouse gas, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions.

In 2020, England’s National Health Service became the first health system in the world to set a target of achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions. Since then, a further 21 countries have committed to achieving net-zero health system emissions, and 58 nations have pledged to make their health systems sustainable and low-carbon.

Progress on this front will ultimately depend on two things:

  • the rapid quantification of health care’s environmental impacts at all levels of service provision and across all geographic regions, and

  • promptly providing this data to relevant stakeholders, including health care policymakers, managers, procurement teams, administrators, and health care workers themselves.

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Tracking Healthcare's Environmental Impact

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