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Trane Technologies Helping US Hospitals Meet Climate Pledge

Christy Fetsch is Healthcare Vertical Strategy Leader for North America for Trane Technologies, which specialises in technology to help organisations to heat and cool buildings, as well as move refrigerated food, medicines, and other perishables. Here, she discusses the company’s role in helping US hospitals meet Washington’s goals on sustainable healthcare infrastructure. 

What is your role with Trane?

As Healthcare Vertical Strategy Leader for North America, I bridge the gap between innovation and the physical environment needs of healthcare facilities. I collaborate closely with healthcare clients to understand both internal and external pressures, offering strategies to effectively address them.

How does White House politics impact what you do?

The main impact is the White House and Joint Commission voluntary Health Sector Climate Pledges. These Pledges are designed to encourage healthcare organisations to commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and to enhance their resilience to climate change. They are part of broader efforts to address climate change and its impacts on public health. 

The initiatives involve commitments to:

  • Reduce carbon emissions.
  • Increase energy efficiency.
  • Invest in renewable energy sources.
  • Enhance climate resilience of healthcare facilities.
  • Promote sustainable practices within the healthcare sector.

And recently, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) followed suit by creating a voluntary initiative aimed at collecting, monitoring, assessing, and addressing hospital carbon emissions and their effects on health outcomes, costs, and quality.

The CMS is a federal agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services that administers the Medicare programme and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid.  

What sustainability measures are US hospitals taking?

For hospitals, the Pledges mean they must have a commitment to investing in energy-efficient infrastructure and renewable energy sources, and enhancing facilities to withstand climate-related events such as extreme weather.

They also have to report progress on sustainability goals, and engage in broader community efforts to address climate change and its health impacts.

How do US hospitals plan ahead around sustainability?

Hospitals can plan ahead by baselining current energy usage and carbon footprint, and by conducting energy audits to identify areas for improvement.

They can also Invest in energy-efficient technologies and infrastructure upgrades, and train staff on sustainable practices and the importance of reducing carbon emissions.

Collaborating with other healthcare organisations and stakeholders is important, too, for sharing best practices and resources. 

Grants and funding opportunities also exist, to support sustainability initiatives.

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