Finding solutions for health care’s environmental impact
Health care is responsible for almost five per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. As one of the largest health care organizations in B.C., we recognize our impact on the environment is great.
We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and restoring health to our health care system and planet.
Our work ahead is purposeful and in alignment with B.C.’s Ministry of Health Mandate Letter and the CleanBC Roadmap 2030. It will require the collective efforts of all of our teams, and working with partners to identify meaningful solutions and innovative ideas to help us move towards environmental sustainability and climate resilience.
Our priority work will focus on advancing sustainability in these areas:
- Climate change: Move toward a climate-resilient health system through purposeful, sustainable facility design and operations.
- Energy and carbon: Reduce our carbon footprint by increasing energy efficiency and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
- Food: Develop plant-based, local, culturally relevant and equitable food service options to advance food as medicine.
- Materials: Choose sustainable materials and products that contribute to human and environmental health, while avoiding waste and unnecessary chemicals.
- Water: Minimize water consumption to reduce demand on natural resources and impact on our living environments.
- Transportation: Increase access to and use of transportation alternatives that reduce negative environmental impact and benefit human health and wellness.
- Embedded climate risk and resilience into major capital projects including the Richmond Hospital Redevelopment Project.
- Designed the VGH Operating Room Renewal to enable us to reduce emissions by 1,411 tonnes CO2e.
- Participated in the Nourish Anchor Cohort to increase sustainable food opportunities for staff and on in-patient food trays, including traditional food options.
- Increased waste diversion in non-acute care (long-term care home) settings from 36 per cent to 42 per cent. Reduced overall waste generation in acute care (hospital) settings by almost 13 per cent.