Hospitals are busy places full of life-and-death situations … a natural setting for dramas like House, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, and the old classic, St. Elsewhere. In the real world (or IRL, as the kids say), Paris was the epicenter of decidedly more drama. The leaders of the world gathered there for COP21 to hammer out a Climate Agreement to try and save the world (and all the people on it) … while the city still reeled from a major terrorist attack. To get a plan every nation would agree to, they had to stay a little late, but they finished it. And whether or not it’s strong enough, the fact that there IS an agreement WITH signatures is a major accomplishment!

Our favourite summit event (other than, y’know, the agreement part) was when Global Green and Healthy Hospitals announced the winners in the 1st annual Climate Champion Awards of the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge.  These awards focused on moving towards low-carbon healthcare by 2020 through 3 main pillars (from GGHH):

  1. Mitigation – Reducing health care’s own carbon footprint
  2. Resilience – Preparing for the impacts of extreme weather and the shifting burden of disease
  3. Leadership – Educating staff and the public while promoting policies to protect public health from climate change

We at UHN are beaming with joy  to be in such great international company (and the only Canucks in the bunch). UHN received a SILVER in Energy Efficiency, a GOLD in Climate Resiliency and a SILVER in Climate Leadership. It would have been wonderful to travel to Paris to accept our awards in person, but we took the high-road/low-carbon/low-cost route and received the honours electronically instead.

Dr. Peter Pisters, our CEO, sent out a particularly wonderful weekly message to all staff (definitely walking the talk of pillar #3):

PeterPistersLooking Ahead-Dec21 - 2020Award

His last line sums it up “This work has never been more important, given Canada’s commitment to create a healthier and sustainable environment at the recent Climate Change summit.”. This award is not the end … it’s the beginning of a much bigger climb.

And with that, we at Talkin’ Trash, UHN’s Energy & Environment Team, wish you a wonderful (and sustainable) holiday season!

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