Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Community Development

Energy to Heal: Health Care, Climate Change, and Community Resilience

Author(s):

March 2014

Community Development Investment Review

Today, the health care sector has a critical role to play in both reducing climate change effects and improving the resilience of the communities it serves. In the United States and beyond, the health care industry is increasingly among the major energy consumers in any given region, and the industry is among the largest local employers in many areas of the country. Collectively, hospitals have begun to commingle their identities as consumers, industries, and citizens. They are exerting both upstream leverage on their supply chains and downstream influence on their employees and patients. Leading health care organizations are navigating shifting economics, patient expectations, and regulatory challenges to transform their practices to become leaders on a low-carbon development path and anchors for climate resilience.

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