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Citing the risk of climate crisis to public health and industry

Medical equipment surrounds a representation of a globe
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Posted by Ceres

Medical equipment surrounds a representation of a globe

June 7, 2023 /CSRwire/ — Five major U.S. healthcare systems today released an open statement affirming their commitment to responsible business practices that address the serious financial and public health risks of the climate crisis.

Signed by Providence, Boston Medical Center, Common Spirit, Health PartnersAND Hackensack meridian, the statement comes amid widespread efforts by a group of state and federal lawmakers to pass policies designed to ban private sector actors who pose these risks. It is aimed at policy makers and emphasizes that signatories are making business decisions that address climate change because it poses a risk to both public health and their ability to deliver health services.

Bottom line: Climate change poses a public health and financial risk to the entire healthcare sector. Just as we face other risks to our complex operations, we will make long-term, climate-smart investments that limit our exposure to climate risk. We will increase our deployment of renewable energy, invest in energy efficiency measures and ensure our buildings and facilities are resilient, the signatories wrote. Mounting evidence indicates that these efforts produce significant and far-reaching cost savings, reduced risk and increased stability for the organizations and communities they serve, and improved business performance.

The full text of the statement is available here. It was organized by Health Care Without Harm and Ceres.

“Climate change is a serious threat to public health and the communities we serve. As a leader in healthcare, Providence is taking bold action to reduce our climate impacts by working to become carbon negative by 2030. While We advance our vision to build a healthier environment and a more equitable world, make strategic decisions to address the climate crisis, and value partnerships with governments, agencies and organizations that enhance our ability to do so, he said Ali Santore, EVP, Chief Advocacy and Social Responsibility Officer, Providence.

“In the communities we are privileged to serve, CommonSpirit Health sees firsthand the devastating effects climate change has on public health and the economy. We consider the business practices that limit these effects from adopting clean energy to building facilities resilient as a common-sense risk management strategy with clear financial benefits. We are proud to join our colleagues in reaffirming our commitment to positive business decisions for public health, climate and bottom line,” he said. Shelly L. Schlenker, MHA, EVP, Chief Advocacy Officer, CommonSpirit Health.

“Healthier hospitals mean healthier communities, which is why we are committed to running our campus as cleanly as possible to achieve our public health mission. Our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions not only help reduce the effects climate change, but also generate $10 million annually in service savings that we have reinvested in patient care.We have no plans to change these business practices and believe any interference would harm our hospital, our patients, and our community , he has declared Bob Biggio, SVP Facilities and Support Services, Boston Medical Center.

Beyond our belief that addressing the environmental and social impacts of healthcare operations is part of our moral imperative, mounting evidence indicates that these efforts yield significant and far-reaching benefits. This includes substantial cost savings, risk reduction and increased stability for the healthcare organizations and communities they serve, as well as improved business performance, he said Gary Cohen, Founder and President, Health Care Without Harm.

Healthcare leaders are only the latest to join a growing number of public and private sector voices defending the freedom to invest responsibly, as policy makers across the country, particularly at the state level, are moving to prevent financial institutions from factoring the economic and financial risks of the climate crisis into their decision making.

In March, more than 250 companies and investors signed a statement to policymakers asking them to protect their freedom to invest responsibly; the list of signatories to that statement has since grown to more than 350. More than a dozen state officials and other public finance officials charged with protecting taxpayer dollars and pension recipients’ livelihoods released their statement expressing support for responsible risk management practices. And, in May, more than 130 academics signed a statement supporting practices that protect investors from the effects of climate change, water scarcity and other risks that materially harm investors.

About Ceres

Ceres is a non-profit organization that works with influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s biggest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, businesses and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market and policy solutions across the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

Information about health care without harm

Health Care Without Harm seeks to transform healthcare around the world in ways that reduce its environmental footprint, become a community staple for sustainability, and a leader in the global movement for health and environmental justice. For more information, visit noharm.org and follow @HCWithoutHarm.

Contact with the media: Helen Booth-Tobin, booth-tobin@ceres.org, 617-247-0700 ext. 214

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Our mission:Ceres is transforming the economy to build a just and sustainable future for people and the planet.

Ceres is a non-profit organization that works with influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s biggest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, businesses and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market and policy solutions across the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, please visit visitceres.organ and follow along@CeresNews.

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