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Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Healthcare through Sustainable Procurement (HCWH Europe)

This document from Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe focuses on the significant carbon footprint of the European healthcare sector, with approximately 15,000 hospitals across the European Union, hospitals and health systems. They all together could play a major role in achieving and going beyond the EU’s climate and energy targets. The hospitals and health systems have a high demand for heating, cooling, and electricity, and require a large amount of energy for transport, lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, and electric and electronic equipment. Health systems are also major consumers of medical goods and equipment, which are often produced in carbon-intensive processes in the developing world under unsafe, toxic, and unregulated conditions. 

Considering the large carbon footprint of procurement for the healthcare sector, sustainable procurement policies, strategies, and practices (particularly when carried out on a large scale), can be a key leverage point for decarbonising the supply chain and achieving climate-smart healthcare. Through purchasing and investment choices, the health sector can help drive market transformation to a low carbon economy.

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