Sustainable Health Systems

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Fundamentals of Sustainable Health Systems


Online content available: Oct. 25, 2021 (Canvas)
Sessions: Nov. 4 & 5, 1 to 5 p.m. EST (Zoom)
Optional follow-up session: February 2022 (date TBD) (Zoom)

Registration fee: $25*
*If cost is prohibitive, please contact us as some subsidies are available

Course Description

Fundamentals of Sustainable Health Systems is a professional education program for frontline staff, administrators, and leaders within care delivery, professional, and support organizations with an interest in harnessing opportunities to achieve high quality, low carbon care.

Climate change is recognized as the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century (Lancet, 2018; WHO, 2015; UCL/Lancet Commission, May 2009). Canada’s healthcare system is a large, resource-intensive sector of the Canadian economy; it is responsible for at least 4.6% of GHG and 5.1% of carbon dioxide emissions annually (Eckelman, 2018; Pichler, 2019), and ranks second in per capita health system emissions globally (Lancet, 2020). While the sector dedicated to extending and improving our quality of life is a significant contributor to a phenomenon putting human health at risk, there are many opportunities for the health sector to develop and implement sustainability interventions that protect, promote, and prioritize health.

Through interactive, transformative, and experiential learning online and in two afternoon Zoom sessions, participants will gain knowledge, develop skills, and forge collaborations that will help them advocate for and participate in a bottom-up and top-down shift toward a more environmentally sustainable health system.

The program is offered online by CASCADES, which strives to support Canada’s health care community to transition toward a sustainable (net-zero, resilient) health system. A certificate of completion will be awarded at the end of the course.


Nov. 4, 1 to 5 p.m.: Understanding and communicating sustainable health care

In this session, you will deepen your understanding of the relationship between the health sector and environmental sustainability, and formulate a pitch to communicate the importance of this relationship to colleagues.

Learning Objectives:

After completion of this session, participants will have the ability to:

  • Recognize the range of environmental challenges facing the human community, and their implications for population health through a planetary health framework
  • Explain the environmental impacts of the health sector
  • Identify the characteristics of sustainable care
  • Recognize opportunities for sustainable improvements in the health sector
  • Articulate why health professionals have a particularly important role to play in advocating for change
  • Develop an understanding of some of the key challenges to generating meaningful engagement on sustainability in healthcare, and how to address these
  • Craft and deliver a pitch for sustainable healthcare

Nov. 5, 1 to 5 p.m.: Approaches to sustainable health care 

In this session, you will explore various approaches to developing, implementing, and evaluating sustainability interventions in your care setting.

Learning Objectives:

After completion of this session, participants will have the ability to:

  • Explain the Sustainable Quality Improvement (SusQI) Framework
  • Approach sustainability interventions and system change through a QI lens
  • Outline a strategy for testing a sustainability intervention
  • Understand how to quantify and measure the various environmental impacts related to health system activity
  • Identify key data points that can be collected to make the case for change and to evaluate the success of the change

For more information, visit this page.

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