Integrating sustainability in health care
Extreme temperatures, wildfires, droughts, storms and flooding have already had a negative impact on human health and care delivery across VCH.
While the effects of climate change on human health and care delivery are clear, we also know that the health care system itself has a significant environmental footprint and contributes to climate change.
To address these intersections and impacts, VCH became the first health care organization in B.C. to integrate Planetary Health into its strategic plan and is committed to embedding planetary health principles into all that we do; from managing our facilities and the supplies we use, to delivering care.
Planetary health refers to the interdependent relationship between the health of our planet and the health of our communities.
This initiative is as ambitious as it is fundamentally collaborative.
We are bringing together multiple stakeholders and teams who are making real, meaningful changes to support healthy communities and a healthy planet.
This critical work is led by VCH’s Strategy and Innovation Office and the Planetary Health Collaborative composed of staff and medical staff in Sustainable Clinical Services, Public Health and Energy and Environmental Sustainability.
- The Sustainable Clinical Services team ensures we deliver high-quality, low-carbon care, making clinical decisions and improving processes to limit our environmental impacts.
- The Public Health team works with our local governments and community partners to support climate change mitigation, emergency planning and response, air and water quality monitoring and more.
- The Energy and Environmental Sustainability team works to reduce energy consumption, water, waste and emission all across VCH sites and supports the development of sustainable and climate-resilient facilities like the Richmond Hospital redevelopment.
Together, we can face the climate crisis head on to deliver resilient and environmentally sustainable care that supports the health of people and the planet.