Global environmental sustainability standards

Raising the standard globally and embedding net-zero as part of quality care and patient safety

Climate change must be addressed at all levels of the healthcare delivery

The Geneva Sustainability Centre provides support and guidance to implement processes for low-carbon, resilient, and sustainable healthcare.

There is increasing awareness that climate change must be addressed at all levels of healthcare delivery. And there is a growing demand for more support and guidance to implement processes for low-carbon, resilient, and sustainable healthcare.

In 2023, the IHF’s Geneva Sustainability Centre and Joint Commission International (JCI) agreed to collaborate to develop environmental sustainability standards for international hospitals (outside of the USA).

The accreditation standards focus on five key areas

  1. Governance, tracking, and reporting
  2. Employee engagement and empowerment
  3. Use of environmental resources, green operations, and process
  4. Procurement and supply chain
  5. Infrastructure and service resilience

These evidence-based standards form the Global Health Impact chapter of the 8th edition of JCI’s Accreditation Standards for Hospitals, published in July 2024. They will be effective for all JCI-accredited hospitals from January 2025. They include core principles of sustainability that are applicable in most settings. This represents an essential step in reducing the carbon footprint of hospitals while also addressing quality and safety.

Things you should know

  1. Interested in the Global Health Impact chapter? To increase the reach and impact of these standards, the Global Health Impact chapter is available for use by other organizations (e.g. accreditors, regulators) outside of the USA. This will support the healthcare sector worldwide to address carbon reduction and ensure environmentally sustainable healthcare delivery in the future. Contact Sylvia Basterrechea, Programme Lead, to find out more.
  2. SAT as an ally for accreditation: The standards and measurable elements are aligned with the GSC Sustainability Accelerator Tool (SAT). Therefore, SAT is a great way to prepare your hospital for (re-)accreditation.
  3. Train your staff and/or surveyors with the GSC learning programme: as co-developers of the standards and measurable elements, our workshops and training activities will bring you and your organizations the knowledge, skills, and tools to implement the standards to support you on your accreditation journey.
  4. The IHF Leadership Model can support executives and their teams: the IHF Leadership Model is the first international competency framework to include environmental sustainability. The model is here for you and your teams to discover the key skills that you’ll need to lead your hospital towards sustainability.

For more information on how your organization can access these accreditation standards, contact Sylvia Basterrechea.