AHRQ's Support for Decarbonization in Healthcare
AHRQ recognizes the climate crisis as the single greatest public health challenge of the 21st century. As a significant contributor to climate change, the healthcare sector faces an urgent call to action to reduce its carbon footprint and protect communities from climate threats. The Biden-Harris Administration has set clear goals for the country to cut greenhouse emissions in half in the next 8 years, then move quickly to net zero before 2050, as outlined in the Federal Sustainability Plan.
To support these goals, AHRQ contracted with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to develop a primer that offers guidance on high-priority measures and strategies for healthcare organizations to reduce carbon footprints. Reducing Healthcare Carbon Emissions: A Primer on Measures and Actions for Healthcare Organizations to Mitigate Climate Change describes six domains contributing to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in healthcare:
- Building energy
- Anesthetic gas, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals
- Medical devices and supplies
The primer identifies core and elective measures to track progress and critical strategies for reducing GHG in each domain. The primer also features vignettes of what health systems have done to reduce GHG and includes a collection of resources and tools to support implementation.
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Special Emphasis Notice
AHRQ's work on climate change and environmental justice is ongoing, and we can't do it alone. Please let us know your ideas for further AHRQ action at: firstname.lastname@example.org.