IHF Statement on Sustainability

Date:  08 November 2022

IHF Statement on Sustainability

Addressing climate change as an integral part of healthcare delivery

Hospitals and healthcare organizations hold a unique responsibility to provide safe quality care that protects and enhances the health potential of their communities.  

Climate change has a direct and increasingly damaging impact on both the health of communities and the delivery of healthcare.  

Hospital and health system leaders therefore need to incorporate every effort to decarbonize and build climate resilience into their decisions, strategic and operational plans. It is a natural fit with our core purpose.  

This call to action speaks directly to all hospitals and healthcare organizations to take concrete steps in line with the Paris Agreement 

At the International Hospital Federation, we reaffirm our commitment to raise awareness, advocate for and take robust action towards sustainable, net zero healthcare systems. We will work with other global actors, so this becomes an integral part of every aspect of healthcare delivery.  

Download the statement

About this statement

At the International Hospital Federation, we join our voice with those recognizing the impact of the healthcare sector on the environment and human health. We equally recognize that good leadership is paramount to drive the organizational changes which will generate positive impact for the generations to come.

This statement was approved by the IHF General Assembly on 8 November 2022. It illustrates the conviction of IHF Members that every hospital and healthcare organization has a role to play in its community in addressing the sustainability challenges. We also consider it as the starting point of our long-term engagement to take action on climate change.

Through our newly established Geneva Sustainability Centre, we are committed to keep bringing value to IHF Members. The Centre’s team is fully dedicated to responding to your needs and to equipping current and future hospital leaders with the required information, tools and skills.

Here’s how you can help us to share this message in your network today.

“Climate change is already impacting human health and is increasingly recognized as the greatest threat to our future health. Hospitals and health systems are on the front line when it comes to responding to its consequences. We understand the impact. But we are only beginning to address the sector’s contribution to the problem. At the IHF, our members agree that we need to raise awareness, and act now, to manage our health systems in more sustainable ways.

Sustainable healthcare will reduce the burden on hospitals and health systems, and positively impact the quality of life, resilience, and wellbeing of the communities they serve. And that is why the IHF’s statement is a call to action to address climate change as an integral part of healthcare delivery.”

Ronald Lavater, Chief Executive Officer, International Hospital Federation

“Climate change is an urgent challenge; ISQua wholeheartedly joins the call to action and will contribute to raising awareness and disseminating knowledge that can inform action through all its channels.”

Dr Carsten Engel, Chief Executive Officer, ISQua

“With a growing impact of climate change on health, the Healthcare sector also needs to take responsibility in driving a sustainable net-zero transformation. Close partnerships between government and the private sector, as well as cross sector collaboration will be essential in the fight against climate change.”

Susanne Andreae, Head of Health and Healthcare Industry, World Economic Forum

Here are the organizations and partners of the IHF that have endorsed the statement so far. If you’d like to add your organization’s name to the list, please get in touch.

Thank you to:

  • International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO)
  • International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals & Health Services (HPH)
  • International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua)
  • Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
  • World Federation of Public Health Associations
  • World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA)
  • World Patients Alliance

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