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Posted By Hitchcock Marketing & Communications on 01/08/2019

Big Healthcare Seeking to Be More Environmentally Friendly in 2019

Big Healthcare Seeking to Be More Environmentally Friendly in 2019

While the veracity of human-caused climate change may remain a debatable topic in U.S. politics, businesses around the country – indeed around the globe – are taking steps to limit carbon emissions. While GM has called for government policies aimed at making electric vehicles (EVs) account for 25 percent of all new American cars by 2030, Porsche’s CEO says he expects that company will only be selling EVs by that date.

There may be a number of reasons automakers would want to jump on this bandwagon: increasingly environmentally conscious consumers, the expectation governments will mandate this soon anyway, etc. But what about the healthcare industry? What motivation would healthcare organizations have to pursue carbon neutral policies? Because Wisconsin-based and Illinois-based Advocate Aurora Health is planning to do just that, and they aren’t the first.

“Advocate Aurora Health plans to power all of its healthcare operations with renewable electricity by 2030, the health system announced Wednesday,” writes Les Masterson in an article for Healthcare Dive. “Advocate Aurora Health, which has 27 hospitals and 500-plus outpatient sites in Wisconsin and Illinois, hopes to reduce its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 392,657 metric tons. That's equal to more than 84,000 passenger cars.” That announcement comes just a few months after Kaiser Permanente announced a commitment to a renewal energy purchase that would allow it to go carbon neutral by 2020.

So what’s behind these environmentally-friendly moves by big healthcare? Masterson says they often cite health reasons. For example, Advocate specifically mentioned the impact of air pollution in exacerbating asthma. Similarly, the Kaiser Permanente release states, “Kaiser Permanente is an internationally recognized leader in sustainability that is addressing the intersection of climate and health. Increased rates of asthma and other respiratory ailments, the spread of infectious diseases, heat-related illnesses and injuries from severe weather events and wildfires are some of the recognized health impacts of climate change.”

Whether moves by big healthcare towards carbon neutrality are genuinely aimed at the health benefits of cleaner air and climate change mitigation, a publicity play or a combination of the two, it’s certainly a growing trend in the industry.

What will your healthcare organization do to be more environmentally friendly in 2019? 

 About Us:

Trust...the healthcare marketer who has been in your shoes! Jean Hitchcock has spent more than 25 years at some of the nation’s most respected health systems. As a healthcare marketing and communication leader, she understands your competing priorities. Your strained resources. The pressure to differentiate your services and distinguish your brand. All amid seismic changes in our healthcare system.