Northwell Health, New York’s largest health system, headed up by Irishman, Michael J. Dowling, has joined the Healthcare Climate Council, and separately, signed on to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Care Sector Pledge to reduce organizational emissions.
Northwell joined the Biden Administration in July for a White House event with HHS, where industry colleagues pledged meaningful action to decarbonize the health care industry and make medical facilities more resilient to the effects of climate change. Northwell has committed to meet the Biden administration’s climate goal to reduce emissions 50 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
“When you think of health care, so many times it’s the emergent issues of the day that come to mind. But the reality is that community health is a long game that requires strategic thinking and investments with an eye to the future,” said Limerick born, Michael J. Dowling, Northwell’s president and CEO. “Northwell Health has pledged to root out health disparities of all types – and that includes addressing our own impacts on the climate.”
In addition to the White House pledge, Northwell has been granted membership into the Healthcare Climate Council, an organization of leading health systems that have committed to reducing their carbon footprint, building resilient health systems and communicating climate change’s health impacts.
The Healthcare Climate Council was established in 2014 by the Virginia-based international nongovernmental organization Healthcare Without Harm. Members implement innovative climate solutions and inspire and support others to act while using their trusted voice and influence to move policy and drive the transformation toward climate-smart health care.