For some healthcare providers, climate change is an urgent concern.
Gerwig: “We see increased cases of asthma, other respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease. The wildfires and severe storms that are happening … those also have health impacts. They displace people. Even fatalities result from those.”
Kathy Gerwig is the Environmental Stewardship Officer at Kaiser Permanente.
Gerwig: “We are a healthcare provider. We also own and operate hospitals and clinics, so we have a unique perspective across the healthcare sector to not only identify the risks associated with climate change, but to identify opportunities to address them.”
The company pledged to go carbon neutral by the year 2020. To get there, it’s signed agreements to purchase large amounts of solar and wind energy.
Gerwig: “But climate change action is much broader than energy. We have efforts in food, in waste, and in water that all contribute to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.”
Gerwig says the company aims to show consumers that supporting health means supporting climate action.
Gerwig: “We have a unique position to be leaders in this, and I think you’re seeing the healthcare sector step into that role.”
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.