Getting sustainability right in Canadian health care – an art and science approach

Sustainability is being increasingly acknowledged as a critical factor in the ability of the Canadian health care system to cope with future demands, as well as a driver of both environmental and economic benefits. This article provides an overview of factors influencing trends in sustainable health care delivery in Canada, and discusses the growing importance of two aspects of sustainability: greening of the supply chain, and utilities optimization. It examines the potential benefits of these types of initiatives for Canadian health care organisations and highlights a number of common challenges and risks relating to their implementation. An “Art and Science of Transformation” framework is proposed as the most effective approach to overcoming the challenges and ensuring that sustainable supply chain management and utilities optimization produce a good return on investment for the health care system, as well as generating environmental benefits and contributing to improved health outcomes.

Author: Harold Schroeder FCMC, PMP, CHRP, CHE

Key Words: greening, health care, supply chain management, sustainability, transformation