Health Care Without Harm urges Joint Commission to make sustainability standards required

The Joint Commission proposed new requirements to advance environmental sustainability for the Hospital and Critical Access Hospital programs in March. The commission shared a survey for feedback from the health care community. 

On April 27, just days before the feedback period is to close, the Joint Commission disclosed they are planning to instead make the requirements optional.

Statement from Emily Mediate, Climate and Health program director

"We are deeply disappointed with the pre-emptive decision to make these requirements optional and urge the Joint Commission to reconsider. While voluntary programs play a useful role, mandatory measurement of greenhouse gas emissions is essential to achieve the meaningful reductions necessary at this critical moment.

Taking action on climate change can no longer be an extra credit opportunity for the health care sector. The health and financial impacts being caused by the crisis demand urgency. We simply don't have the time for this to be a slow, voluntary effort, especially for those disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis."