Kühne Foundation - HELP Logistics

How can climate-smart solutions reduce health supply chains’ climate impact?

HELP Logistics participates in a panel discussion on adopting climate-smart solutions in health supply chains at the AVPN Global Conference 2023.

Health systems are taking significant strides in their supply chains to reduce carbon emissions and minimise their climate impact. In 2019, Health Without Harm, an NGO, published a report revealing that healthcare is responsible for 4.4% of global net emissions (equivalent to 2 gigatons of carbon dioxide). Among these emissions, 17% stem directly from healthcare facilities (Scope 1), while indirect emissions (Scope 2) and those throughout the rest of the health supply chain (Scope 3) account for 12% and 71%, respectively.
Recognising the urgency of the situation, HELP Logistics Regional Director, Asia, Collin Wee, alongside panellists Audrey Chia, Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore Business School, and Catherine, CEO of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, led an engaging discussion at the AVPN Global Conference 2023. The focus was on the intersection of climate change, health systems, and the role of supply chains in mitigating climate impact.
One important takeaway from the discussion was that climate-smart solutions in the supply chain don't necessarily rely on technology or software. Instead, they can be fostered through grassroots initiatives that aim to reduce carbon emissions in operations. For instance, hospitals can evaluate medical supplies that can be reused or remanufactured, establishing a value chain to reintroduce them into hospital usage. Another example is the establishment of community health points as "logistics forward distribution points" to minimise the need for additional storage locations, ultimately leading to reduced carbon emissions.
Additionally, the discussion highlighted the urgent need for research to better comprehend the intricate relationship between climate change and health. This understanding is crucial for developing evidence-based interventions and advancing practices that support climate-smart health systems.
These ideas have sparked the potential for likeminded organisations to rethink their health system operations from a supply or value chain perspective. The session emphasised the significance of cross-sectoral collaboration and partnerships between health systems, environmental organisations, policymakers, and communities to effectively address the impacts of climate change on health. This brings practitioners one step closer to building supply chain resilience within their programs while enabling them to identify priority areas for reducing carbon emissions.
By embracing these sustainable practices and working together, health systems can play a vital role in reducing their carbon footprint and contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future.

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