The HSE has launched its Climate Action Strategy 2023-2050. This health service-wide strategy aims to reduce the negative climate impacts of the health service, achieve net-zero emissions for the HSE by 2050, and deliver healthcare that is environmentally and socially sustainable.
The healthcare sector is a notable contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for an estimated 5 per cent of total emissions globally and is also responsible for responding to people’s changing health needs affected by climate change.
Mr Dean Sullivan, HSE Chief Strategy Officer, said: “This programme of work responds to and supports the Government’s Climate Action plans and provides actions and targets to reduce the environmental and social impact of the delivery of healthcare in Ireland. Our health service will be showing leadership and commitment to sustainable actions and principles across areas such as buildings, green space development, transport, greener models for health care, procurement and more.”
The HSE actions will be focused on 10 areas:
1. Reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions
2. Developing green spaces
3. Decarbonising its fleet of vehicles
4. Promoting low carbon and ‘active travel’
5. Aligning purchasing of goods and services with decarbonisation and sustainability goals
6. Baselining supply chain emissions
7. Developing greener models of healthcare delivery
8. Reducing and managing waste
9. Conserving and reducing water use
10. Protecting people’s health and wellbeing.
Dr Philip Crowley, National Director, Strategy and Research, said: “Developing this programme of work is an important and exciting step for the HSE. We are here for the long-haul, with a multi-year, sustained programme. Our workforce of over 100,000 people is central to the successful development and delivery of this strategy. We hope to enable and support staff and service users to act as sustainability and climate action activists and lead the transformation to make the health service a more sustainable provider.”
Mr Peter Smyth, Assistant National Director Capital and Estates, added: “The HSE Climate Action Strategy builds on existing work with our built environment and reducing energy-related emissions. By 2021, the HSE achieved a 9% reduction in energy-related emissions and our new target is a 51% reduction by 2030. We will seek to build on this progress going forward working closely with colleagues across the HSE.”