Health Care Without Harm
Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of health, environmental, and policy experts. The coalition seeks to transform the health care sector globally. This includes developing climate-smart health care business models, policies, and practices. A key goal is to reduce health care’s ecological footprint and accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy. Its mission is to activate the power of the health care sector to protect public health and to drive a new social contract between health care and the communities it serves.
Health Care Without Harm works in a variety of settings to help healthcare providers and policy makers understand the link between climate change and poor health. In addition to its advocacy work, it also develops tools for professionals to address air pollution. For instance, Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Food in Healthcare Program works with hospital leaders to create a system-wide approach to reshaping food systems to conserve natural resources.
Health Care Without Harm also has strategic partnerships with global supply chain companies, health professional associations, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These partnerships enable Health Care Without Harm to leverage health care’s clout to advance policies, practices, and solutions. Through these partnerships, Health Care Without Harm builds resilience at the facility and system levels. By promoting innovation, Health Care Without Harm helps transform the healthcare sector into a leader in environmental health.
Health care providers have a large ecological footprint. If there is no additional action, health care’s emissions could triple by 2050. This increase in emissions could lead to worse health outcomes, and increased pandemic risks.
In response to the rising threats of climate change, Health Care Without Harm has developed a road map to decarbonize health care. The road map outlines seven high impact actions to take to decarbonize health care. All of these actions are aligned with the precautionary principle, which holds that people have a duty to protect themselves and others from harm.
Among other initiatives, Health Care Without Harm has partnered with the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Health. This partnership, aimed at accelerating the transition to clean renewable energy, includes NGOs, academic institutions, and government. Other partners include the International Committee of the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Another initiative of Health Care Without Harm is its Health Care Climate Challenge. Health Care Without Harm’s Health Care Climate Challenge engages health care institutions to build resilience at the facility level. The program also promotes collaboration with health professional associations and governmental agencies.
In addition, Health Care Without Harm has a Cool Food Pledge that can help hospitals improve their health, save money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This program provides hospitals with a commitment to purchase healthier foods and to offer diners more of what they want.
Health Care Without Harm has launched partnerships with leading ministries of health and other global health NGOs. These partnerships have the potential to enrich the health of the communities they serve.
Health Care Without Harm has a long history of recognizing the importance of protecting the environment. For instance, the organization organized the first mercury conference in Southeast Asia. Additionally, the organization has been instrumental in helping close 4,400 carcinogenic medical waste incinerators.