Biden order catalyzes U.S. health care's transformation to climate-smart operations

Contact:, Rob Gough, Climate Communications Manager, Health Care Without Harm

Biden order catalyzes U.S. health care's transformation to climate-smart operations

We applaud the Dec. 8, 2021, executive order from President Biden requiring that federal facilities reduce greenhouse gas emissions and set goals aligned with the administration’s overall climate goals, including achieving net-zero emissions across federal buildings, campuses, and installations. The order covers the Veterans Health Administration and Defense Health Agency hospitals and medical facilities and is an important step toward fulfilling the United States' recent COP26 Health Programme commitment to decarbonize the country's health system and ensure our health facilities and the communities they serve are climate-resilient.

Health Care Without Harm recently released recommendations for federal health facilities to move toward low-carbon, sustainable operations and procurement. The guidance will help facilities improve climate resilience and provide uninterrupted health care to the nation’s military and veterans, while simultaneously setting a standard for other U.S. health systems to follow. 

In 2020, nearly all federal facilities with membership to Practice Greenhealth provided sustainability data for the organization’s annual awards and benchmarking programs.

Statement from Gary Cohen, Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth founder:

“We look forward to working with the Biden administration to advance climate-smart health care standards that decarbonize, detoxify, and build climate-resilient facilities. As the nation’s health care system, federal facilities can model the essential transformation of health care to align with the administration’s climate goals and use its purchasing power to shift the supply chain toward a more just, low-carbon economy.

Practice Greenhealth has been working with nearly 200 federal facilities committed to leading this work. We are excited to continue to partner and support their accelerated attention to climate-smart strategies.”

About Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth
Health Care Without Harm seeks to transform health care worldwide so the sector reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice.

Working closely with Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth is the leading membership and networking organization for sustainable health care, delivering environmental solutions to nearly 1,400 U.S. hospitals and health systems.