The functioning of hospitals depends heavily on transportation: patients, staff and visitors traveling to and from health facilities, the delivery of emergency and home care services, procurement of materials and the transportation of waste to name a few.
The Canadian transportation sector is the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada with light-duty vehicle (LDV) emissions accounting for approximately 50% of Canada’s transportation-related GHG emissions, and 22% of the country’s total emissions. (1)
Canada is committed to decarbonizing and diversifying the transportation sector through promoting and investing in low emission vehicles including regular micro-mobility, electric micro-mobility, electric vehicles (EVs), heavy-duty EVs, public transportation, active transportation, etc.
To align with Canada’s goal of net-zero by 2050, health care facilities should consider diversifying their fleets with alternative modes of transportation, such as electric ambulances and electric bikes, while encouraging health care workers and support staff to utilize sustainable transportation wherever possible.
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Leading the transformation of the transportation sector is zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Transportation Canada Is estimating ZEV sales of 4% to 6% of all new light-duty vehicles purchased by 2025 and 5% to 10% by 2030. Furthermore, the target has been set at having 100% of light-duty vehicles sold to be zero-emission by 2040, with a projected 14 million such vehicles on the road by 2040.
To learn more about ZEVs visit our resource page HERE.
The benefits of virtual care derive mostly from the reduction in patient travel and the associated reduction in carbon emissions. The long-term benefits include its potential to reduce facility size and improve health outcomes.
Virtual conferences likewise reduce emissions associated with travel to conference venues.
In 2017, CAPE produced an Active Travel Toolkit for Health Professionals, that has several modules to help health professionals advocate for active travel with their patients and communities. The toolkit includes resources, brochures for patients, and presentations for the public.
View the toolkit HERE.
Battery-Powered Micro-mobility refers to a class of small, lightweight vehicles that can occupy space alongside bicycles. This includes electric scooters, docked and dockless shared bikes. These vehicles are unsuitable for sidewalks and vehicle-occupied roads. A form of alternative transportation that has an opportunity to better connect people with public transit, reduce reliance on private cars, increase user mental and physical health, maximize transit space, and reduce carbon footprints.
In 2020, with funding from Natural Resources Canada, the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care initiated a project to advance awareness and use of lower-carbon transportation options, such as energy-efficient technologies and practices and lower-carbon vehicles and fuels in Canada.
Learn more about the project HERE.