The health system’s goal to be carbon negative by 2030 draws international attention, brings health systems into the climate conversation
RENTON, Wash., Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Providence, one of the largest health systems in the nation, was invited to speak at the Race for our Planet event hosted by the United Nations High Level Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping and the British Embassy in Rome. The event aims to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
United Nations High Level Climate Action Champion Nigel Topping invites Providence to COP26
Providence received the invitation based on its commitment to be carbon negative by 2030, first announced on Earth Day 2020. As the only health system to date to make such a bold commitment to sustainability practices, Providence is capturing international attention for its carbon negative pledge.
“Each year, the U.S. health care sector contributes 8.5% of the nation’s greenhouse gases, and 27% of health care emissions worldwide. It is therefore imperative that health systems have a seat at the table to discuss solutions to mitigate climate change and reduce the impact of our operations,” said Providence Chief Advocacy and Sustainability Officer Ali Santore, who will represent the health system at Race for our Planet on Friday, Oct. 1. “As one of the largest health care systems in the nation, Providence bears significant responsibility to lead the industry to change for the benefit our patients, employees, and the planet.”
At Race for our Planet, Santore will address how Providence plans to uphold its carbon negative commitment, specifically through five focus areas: waste, energy/water, agriculture/food, chemicals, and transportation. Providence’s early tactics and strategies include waste optimization, transition to renewable energy sources, local and sustainable foods, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from anesthetic agents and other chemicals, and reducing emissions from business travel, product delivery, fleet vehicles, and employee commuting.
“I believe we have to take action toward building a climate-resilient, decarbonized health system to create more equitable health care and environmental justice for the voiceless and underserved. Our response to this crisis aligns with our core value of justice, as we seek to ease the suffering of so many who feel the health impacts of climate change and pollution disproportionately,” said Providence President and CEO Rod Hochman M.D. “I’m honored Providence was invited to speak at the Race for our Planet event because it’s time for health systems to join the global climate conversation.”
Providence is a national, not-for-profit Catholic health system comprising a diverse family of organizations and driven by a belief that health is a human right. With 52 hospitals, over 1,000 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing, and many other health and educational services, the health system and its partners employ more than 120,000 caregivers serving communities across seven states – Alaska, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, with system offices in Renton, Wash., and Irvine, Calif. Learn about our vision of health for a better world at Providence.org.
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