Mass General Brigham was named a recipient of the Commonwealth Environmental Leadership Award by the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM). The award was presented at ELM’s Earth night, an event to honor the recipients and build the relationships that will help Massachusetts lead the nation in addressing the scale and urgency of our environmental challenges. Mass General Brigham was recognized as an industry leader in sustainable health care delivery.
“We are honored to have been recognized for our work to minimize our impact on the environment. Mass General Brigham is committed to reducing the harmful impacts of climate change and creating healthier environments for our patients, employees, and communities,” said Niyum Gandhi, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Mass General Brigham.
The health sector is responsible for approximately 8.5% of carbon emissions in the United States, which are the leading cause of global climate change. As an industry leader in sustainable healthcare delivery, Mass General Brigham has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 60% since 2008. Currently 80% of Mass General Brigham’s electricity comes from renewable sources, and the system strives to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.
Earlier this year, Mass General Brigham launched the Climate and Sustainability Leadership Council (CSLC). Its purpose is to develop systemwide goals for emission-reduction targets, inform systemwide sustainability practices and initiatives and identify opportunities for synergy with other Mass General Brigham priorities. In recognition of climate change as a public health issue, Mass General Brigham is the only healthcare system in the country with four medical directors for sustainability.
Mass General Brigham’s efforts include initiatives that range from integrating climate-health and health care sustainability into resident training, minimizing food waste as part of the Cool Food Pledge, and designing carbon neutral buildings. The system has also made it a priority to advocate for policies and programs at the local, state, and federal levels that are aimed at building a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable future.