The Joint Commission recognized at COP27 for joining White House pledge to decarbonize healthcare sector
(OAKBROOK TERRACE, Illinois, November 10, 2022) – The Joint Commission was today recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) for its ongoing action to decarbonize the healthcare sector and make healthcare facilities more resilient to the effects of climate change. The Joint Commission formally pledged to achieve the White House’s climate goal to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero admissions by 2050.
Joint Commission President and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI, has targeted climate change among his top strategic priorities. The Joint Commission is currently conducting a Technical Advisory Panel with nationally recognized experts to evaluate the inclusion of climate-related standards. The Joint Commission also is reviewing its current standards and survey methods to ensure they do not inadvertently contribute to excess consumption of materials and energy.
The HHS Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, developed the White House/HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge to help focus industry response to climate challenges. In addition to reducing their carbon footprint, signatories also commit to producing detailed plans to prepare their facilities for both chronic and acute catastrophic climate impacts.
One hundred two prominent U.S. health companies have signed the White House/HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge, including organizations representing 837 hospitals as well as leading health centers, suppliers, insurance companies, group purchasing organizations, pharmaceutical companies and more. Federal systems like the Indian Health Service (IHS), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Military Health System (MHS) also are working together to meet similar climate goals. Combined, this means that more than 1,080 federal and private sector hospitals have made such commitments, representing over 15% of U.S. hospitals.
About The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve healthcare for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating healthcare organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.
About the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity
The Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) plays a vital role in protecting the nation’s health from climate change-related risks, including extreme heat, natural disasters, vector-borne diseases and more. Among the supports OCCHE provides for health sector companies that wish to reduce their environmental impact and become more resilient to the effects of climate change are a webinar series and associated compendium of federal resources to support emissions reduction and resilience. OCCHE also publishes a regular Climate and Health Outlook, an effort to inform health professionals and the public on how our health may be affected in the coming month(s) by climate events and provide resources to take proactive action.