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Health Care Without Harm Partners With Clinton Climate Initiative to Help Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities Reduce Environmental Impact
Date:7/23/2009

Partnership to Focus on Energy Conservation and Facility Retrofitting

ARLINGTON, Va., July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) has entered into an agreement with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), a project of the William J. Clinton Foundation, to develop programs to help hospitals and healthcare facilities reduce their environmental impact, particularly in the area of carbon reduction. HCWH will work with CCI to develop building energy efficiency retrofit projects and other carbon reduction strategies in healthcare facilities.

Hospitals and healthcare facilities emit large quantities of carbon and other pollutants associated with climate change. As the second most energy intensive commercial sector of the U.S. economy, healthcare consumes more than 73 trillion kWh of "conventional" electricity annually. According to U.S. EPA-based estimates, the healthcare industry's energy use adds over $600 million per year in increased healthcare costs related to increased disease burden in the general public (e.g. treated asthma cases, respiratory illness, increased hospital room visits).

Aware of their unintended contribution to climate change, many hospitals and healthcare facilities are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact. Many have joined HCWH and its affiliates Practice Greenhealth and the Global Health and Safety Initiative, to receive guidance and assistance. However, many facilities have not been able to secure funding for necessary major architectural and equipment changes because of the economic downturn. Through the HCWH-CCI partnership, hospitals and healthcare institutions will receive technical assistance when implementing energy efficiency projects and become eligible for discounted energy efficiency products. The initial focus of the HCWH-CCI collaboration will be on more than a dozen public and private hospitals and health facilities located in and around Chicago, IL, with the intention of expanding to other U.S. cities and internationally in the near future.

"Healthcare is 16 percent of the GDP and the one sector of the economy focused on health. Hospitals can play a critical role in protecting our communities from climate related disease as well as be a driver for the green energy economy of the 21st century," stated Gary Cohen, executive director of HCWH. "We are extremely pleased to partner with the Clinton Climate Initiative to facilitate the transfer of energy saving technology to health care institutions nationally and worldwide."

Under the agreement, hospitals and healthcare facilities affiliated with HCWH and its partners will be able to access the benefits of CCI's partnerships, including global energy service companies that are committed to providing streamlined procurement processes, transparency in pricing, guaranteed maximum project cost, and importantly, guaranteed minimum savings.

Discounts and other preferable product pricing on energy efficiency building technologies negotiated by CCI will also be made available to HCWH affiliated hospitals and healthcare facilities. The products include energy efficient products such as reflective roofing and solar control window film, solar cooling and modular chillers, and lighting products.

Hospital and healthcare facilities can also utilize design and operational innovations and other solutions that HCWH, Practice Greenhealth and GHSI can provide such as the Energy Impact Calculator, reverse energy auctions, Green Guide for Healthcare, Greenhealth Tracker(TM), and broader sustainability measures that reduce health care's carbon footprint.

"While our initial efforts will focus on Chicago, we hope to rapidly expand this project to other U.S. cities and other types of projects," said Cohen. "The Clinton Climate Initiative and HCWH both share the philosophy that we can help accelerate the transformation of renewable and energy saving innovations by catalyzing the collective purchasing power of the healthcare sector."

About Health Care Without Harm: Heath Care without Harm, an international coalition of more than 473 organizations in 52 countries, is working to transform the health care sector, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. To learn more about HCWH's work on issues related to health care, go to www.noharm.org.

About the Clinton Climate Initiative: The William J. Clinton Foundation launched the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to create and advance solutions to the core issues driving climate change. Working with governments and businesses around the world to tailor local solutions that are economically and environmentally sustainable, CCI focuses on three strategic program areas: increasing energy efficiency in cities, catalyzing the large-scale supply of clean energy, and working to measure and value the carbon absorbed by forests. In each of these programs, CCI uses a holistic approach to address the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and the people, policies, and practices that impact them. CCI serves as the action arm of the C40, an association of large cities around the world that have pledged to accelerate their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more about the work of the Clinton Climate Initiative and the William J. Clinton Foundation, please visit www.clintonfoundation.org.


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SOURCE Health Care Without Harm
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