Accelerating climate-smart transformation of U.S. health care: A federal-first approach

Flooded parking lot with submerged van and trees in front of hospital building
ER entrance of the VA Hospital in New Orleans, post Hurricane Katrina. Image by Jh12 via Wikimedia Commons.
US national health care greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, 2010–18. SOURCES: Health Care Pollution and Public Health Damage in the United States: an Update; Health Affairs, Vol. 39, №12
  • Systematically tracking facilities’ progress toward meeting these goals across all scopes (1–3) of emissions
    Requiring federal health care facilities to utilize medical products and systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent waste
  • Specifically, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ prohibition of the use of reprocessed single use medical devices in the VHA should be overturned. Reprocessed medical devices are safe and in widespread use, including by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) health care facilities, and switching to reprocessed medical devices results in considerable cost and emissions savings.
  • Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions specific to anesthetic gases in federal health care facilities by 50% from a 2020 baseline by 2025
    Phase out desflurane and adopt technologies for the sequestration, distillation, and reuse of waste anesthetic gases, with the U.S. FDA reviewing all available evidence and, as appropriate, fast-tracking approval of these technologies

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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.

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Health Care Without Harm

Health Care Without Harm

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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.