Sustainable strategy for health care institutions

  • #Health

Global Green & Healthy Hospitals is a community of 1,300 members across 68 countries representing 43,000 hospitals and healthcare facilities. Their goal is to develop a model of sustainable healthcare around the world by sharing their members' best practices and providing strategic and reporting tools. GGHH relies on a strategy based on 10 interconnected objectives to develop and promote a more sustainable healthcare system.


Make environmental health a management priority.

  • Ensure that operational and strategic plans and budgets incorporate this environmental priority.

  • Dedicate key positions to mobilizing teams in the field and in management

  • Create a unit bringing together representatives from all departments to integrate the principles of sustainable development into all the functions of the institution and to raise the structural problems they are facing

  • Focus on disease prevention as the primary lever for reducing the carbon footprint

  • Supporting technical and social innovation

  • Working with stakeholders in the territory and developing pilot projects

  • Improve public knowledge and information about health risks and the importance of maintaining a healthy environment both outdoors and indoors

Chemical products

Substitute harmful chemicals with safer alternatives

  • Implement internal protocols to limit exposure of patients and staff to hazardous products

  • Supporting demand to develop alternative solutions

  • Adopt strict instructions on the information on the chemical composition of the products and materials used and ensure that they all have a minimum of toxicity testing.

  • Replace all products that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or carry a latent health risk


Reduce, treat and dispose of waste safely

  • Diagnose the waste management system from production to disposal

  • Measuring the quantities of waste produced and qualifying their dangerousness

  • Adapting collection systems to waste types

  • Train and support employees to improve waste sorting, in particular to avoid the systematic use of DASRI bins.


Improving energy efficiency and using renewable energies

  • Set up an energy renovation plan with an objective of 10% reduction in the first year and then 2% per year to ensure a 10% gain every 5 years.

  •  Carry out regular audits and inform employees of the progress made to involve them

  • Replacing oil-fired thermal plants with less carbon-intensive energy and investing in renewable energy generation facilities

  • Mobilize the nursing staff to inform and sensitize the patients / adapt the temperature instructions in winter and summer by 1 degree.

  • Identify and value the co-benefits of energy performance measures to guarantee investments and support their maintenance over time.


Reducing water needs and preserving drinking water resources

  • Install water savers in the sanitary blocks

  • Modernizing the air conditioning system and favouring passive solutions

  • digital radiography should be preferred to film radiography, which consumes large amounts of water

  • Collecting and using rainwater

  • Favour tap water over bottled water


Improve staff and patient transportation

  • develop a company travel plan

  • rethinking the patient's medical circuit to limit travel

  • convert the vehicle fleet to cleaner engines


Providing sustainable catering for patients and staff

  • Use an offer of sustainable, local and seasonal products

  • Limit food waste by diagnosing and adapting the rations served

  • Analyze and improve practices related to the preparation and distribution of meals and the various containers used.


Managing and disposing of medicines in a sustainable manner

  • Adapting medication intake to the specific needs of the patient

  • Use products with appropriate packaging/dosing to limit losses and toxic waste.

  • Supporting the demand for more responsible packaging and wrapping of medicines


Designing and managing sanitary facilities in a sustainable manner

  • Preserve and protect the surrounding fauna and flora

  • Adapting the structure to climatic conditions

  • Encouraging passive systems

  • Use of materials with low environmental impact in the construction and renovation of facilities

  • Promote the reuse and recycling of materials

  • Favour a natural environment and limit nuisances in order to favour a healthy and stress-free environment that improves the health and mental health of patients.

  • Take into account the rules and recommendations of local policies

  • Rely on national and international standards and certifications for the design and maintenance of the installations.


Buying better and favouring sustainable products and materials

  • Implementing a sustainable purchasing policy

  • Integrating environmental clauses into specifications

  • Favour products with recognised environmental standards

  • Pooling requests within the establishment or even within a group to limit logistics

  • Establish buyer groups to send a stronger signal to suppliers about product sustainability

This approach provides an enlightening basis for initiating a sustainable development strategy within a health establishment and proposes initial avenues for reflection. The GGHH website offers numerous resources and feedback from its members to fuel reflection on these various subjects. Reports and webinars are mostly available in English. We will also provide summaries of this work in French, providing a Parisian perspective with feedback from our partners and the actions carried out by the City of Paris.