Acting now for climate and health – International Hospital Federation to collaborate with Deloitte to launch special interest group on leadership for sustainability

Today, at the World Hospital Congress (WHC) in Barcelona (Spain), the International Hospital Federation (IHF) announced it intends to collaborate with Deloitte, a global leader in healthcare consulting, to launch a special interest group (SIG) centered around leadership for sustainability. This collaboration is planned with a shared vision that the healthcare sector should urgently recognize the opportunity to lead the way in tackling this global crisis, and to take action in reducing its own carbon footprint.

As the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in Glasgow (United Kingdom), hospital leaders worldwide come together in Barcelona to advance the sustainability agenda in the healthcare sector. Medical professionals have recognized climate change from carbon emissions as the “biggest global health threat of the 21st century” (The Lancet, Commission on Climate Change, 2009:

Speaking from the WHC in Barcelona, Ronald Lavater, CEO of the IHF, emphasized the importance and timeliness of the leadership for sustainability’s launch:

“Our members recognize the imperative of responding to the sustainability agenda and are looking to the IHF as a source of knowledge exchange and good practices on climate change and healthcare leadership. The IHF is uniquely positioned to support hospital executives to develop the skills needed to lead their organizations at this critical time. I am pleased to collaborate with Deloitte for this transformational work”

According to the World Health Organization, between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause more than 250,000 additional deaths per year. Responding to the sustainability agenda is a long-term challenge for the healthcare sector and will likely require multi-year commitments to meet national and global climate change goals, transforming almost every aspect of how hospitals operate. However, there are currently few common standards within the industry, leading to different approaches and measurements which prevent comparisons and benchmarking.

The IHF will work to:
• create thought-leadership content, real-world case studies and instructional frameworks for senior executives
on how to be a ‘green leader’ in healthcare;
• share knowledge from healthcare leaders accelerating the sustainability agenda in their organizations,
who can provide pragmatic advice on making an evidence-based business case for ‘green leadership’;
• showcase examples of innovative hospitals programs from around the world, which are focused on responding
to the sustainability and climate change agenda; and
• leverage existing best practices, tools, and ongoing initiatives, such as Race to Zero.

Hospital leaders are increasingly aware of this need for action. Dr. Stephanie Allen, Deloitte Global Health Care Leader noted, “we are at a pivotal moment and health care leaders are realizing the opportunity to act now, but they need support to accelerate the transition.” Dr. Elizabeth Baca, a Clinician Strategist at Deloitte Consulting LLP, added:

“Within Deloitte we are also on our own transformation to a low carbon economy as part of our WorldClimate strategy. It is exciting to work with health stakeholders because they can play a significant role in pushing forward transformational change towards resilience. As part of the leadership for the sustainability working group we look forward to supporting members of the IHF.”

Written by:

Canny Creative

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