The US CDC names climate change as the greatest threat to public health of the 21st century. As healthcare systems reinforce their commitments to keeping populations healthy in addition to healing people when they are sick, climate action needs to be a key part of their community health programs. The good news is the footprint of an institution’s built environment represents a unique opportunity for climate action. Through tracking and reducing the carbon emissions of building materials, specifiers and health system representatives can use their purchasing power to address the most urgent source of greenhouse gasses in the built environment, known as embodied carbon. This presentation will connect the public health concerns driven by climate change with the missions of healthcare institutions looking to support community health, and provide concrete resources and pathways for the building and design industry to support those missions.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how human activity is causing disruption in the carbon cycle, and to explain the correlation between carbon emissions and global climate change.
- Define embodied carbon emissions and the urgent role they play in accelerating climate change.
- Communicate the significance of climate change as the biggest threat to public health in the 21st century, and to demonstrate an understanding of how health systems are acknowledging and responding to this threat.
- Empower the design and specification community to take action against climate change by selecting low carbon and carbon storing materials, thereby contributing to the reversal of global warming.