Reducing the Climate Footprint of Healthcare: HCWH Europe Reports on the Opportunities Provided by the EU Climate Legislative Framework

As EU Sustainable Energy Week starts by drawing attention to Europe’s low-carbon future, smart-energy solutions, sustainable mobility, renewables, energy efficiency, smart cities and many other topics, a report on the EU climate legislative framework and the opportunities for the healthcare sector is released by Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe.

Brussels, 15 June 2015 — Today marks the start of EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels, with a series of conferences that will run until Friday 19th June and will focus on driving all European sectors towards energy efficiency, renewables and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. HCWH Europe marks this occasion with the release of it’s new report ‘Reducing the Climate Footprint: The EU’s Legislative Framework and the Healthcare Sector’, which presents an overview of the EU legislative framework on climate change (provided by ClientEarth) and the opportunities for the European healthcare sector to reduce it’s carbon footprint.

“The 2020 Healthcare Climate Challenge marks the first ever international effort to track emissions and take measurable actions to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint. The Conference on Climate and the Healthcare Sector in Paris will be an opportunity for hospitals and health systems worldwide to share best practice and learn from leading hospitals in implementing climate mitigation and adaptation policies.” says Grazia Cioci, HCWH Europe Deputy Director. 

The healthcare sector is a major part of the European economy. Making up about 10% of Gross Domestic Product in many EU countries, the sector is a very large employer and requires high levels of energy supplies, leading to a considerable carbon footprint. In the EU, there are about 15,000 hospitals that require energy for power generation, heating, lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical equipment, transport and supplies. Together with their supply chains, hospitals are estimated to account for roughly 5% of the EU carbon dioxide emissions per annum.

HCWH Europe’s report provides a detailed overview of the EU legislative instruments that the European healthcare sector can use to reduce its carbon footprint, ranging from the emission trading directives, to the energy efficiency directive, to the new public procurement directives. In addition, the report gives some key policy recommendations, calling on EU institutions to move towards an ambitious 2030 Climate and Energy Package that would also help the European healthcare sector to better mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The full report can be found here.

In April 2015, Health Care Without Harm launched the 2020 Healthcare Climate Challenge, a global initiative from HCWH’s Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network. The challenge invites healthcare systems and hospitals around the world to commit to reducing their carbon footprint and protect public health from climate change in the run-up to the worldwide meeting of heads of state at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change this December in Paris. This initiative will identify the best performing hospitals in the world, who will then be invited to share their experiences in reducing their carbon footprint at a summit in Paris organised by HCWH and the French Hospitals Federations (FHF, FHP and FEHAP)




Notes to Editors:

About Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe:

HCWH Europe is a non-profit European coalition of hospitals, healthcare systems, healthcare professionals, local authorities, research/academic institutions and environmental and health organisations. It currently has 75 members in 26 countries from the WHO European Region, including 17 European Union member states.

HCWH Europe works to transform the health sector worldwide so that it becomes ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice across the globe. We bring the voice of healthcare professionals to the European policy debate about key issues: chemicals, climate change and health, green building, sustainable procurement, pharmaceuticals, sustainable food and waste management. (

About the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network

Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) is an innovative multilingual social networking platform where members (which are made up of hospitals, health systems, and health organisations from around the world) can connect, learn, and collaborate with each other to support their efforts toward reducing the environmental footprint of the health sector (

Media Contact:

Aidan Long,

Communication & Information Officer, HCWH Europe

Phone: +32 2503 0481