Santa Clara Valley Healthcare makes a big climate commitment

The healthcare system plans to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2023 and achieve net-zero by 2050.
Pin on the year 2050
Santa Clara Valley Healthcare aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. / Photo: Shutterstock

Santa Clara Valley Healthcare (SCVH) has made a commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, an effort that will, in part, require examining its food supply.

On its path to achieve this, the healthcare system says it will reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and will publicly detail progress on its goals.

SCVH is currently working to developing a climate resilience plan as well as designate an executive-level person to lead its carbon reduction efforts. The healthcare system says it will establish its climate resilience plan by the end of 2023 and conduct an inventory of supply chain emissions by the end of 2024, according to a press release.

“Santa Clara Valley Healthcare is making this climate commitment to bring better health and wellness to our world and our community for generations to come,” said Paul E. Lorenz, chief executive officer of SCVH, said in the release. “Like all businesses, the healthcare community must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and reduce harm to our planet.”

SCVH has also joined the Universal Meals program, a recipe initiative designed by the nonprofit Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. The program provides nutritional recipes that don’t contain animal products, gluten, nuts or common allergens. In addition, Universal Meals adheres to enrollment in the Good Food Purchasing program, a value-based procurement program that requires purchases be made based on environmental sustainability, nutrition, animal welfare and other factors.

Two of SCVH’s healthcare facilities currently offer Universal Meals dishes. On offer at one location is Sweet and Sour Cauliflower, while another location menus Japanese Pasta Salad with Kabocha Squash and a chickpea salad.

“Adding these recipes is part of a larger recognition that both people and the environment must be well cared for,” said Jocelyn Dubin, lead public health nutritionist at County of Santa Clara Public Health Department. “Providing inclusive options for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions builds toward greater health equity in our communities, as we strive to make the healthy and sustainable choice the easy choice for all.” 



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