Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector

Recognizing the critical need to address climate change through health sector leadership, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) launched the Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector (Climate Collaborative), a public-private partnership of leaders from across the health system committed to addressing the sector’s environmental impact while strengthening its sustainability and resilience.

Climate change is increasingly affecting people’s health and the ability of the U.S. health care system to effectively respond to increases in extreme climate-related events. Improving the carbon footprint of the entire health ecosystem can drastically lower the approximately 8.5% of U.S. carbon emissions for which it is responsible, while also having significant health, social, and economic benefits. There is a need to activate all parts of the health sector for sustainable change.

About the Climate Collaborative

The Climate Collaborative provides a neutral platform for its participants to align around collective goals and actions for decarbonization, based on evidence, shared solutions, and a commitment to improve health equity. Members of the Climate Collaborative represent health and hospital systems, clinicians, private payers, biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, health care services, health professional education, academia, nonprofits, and the federal government.

The Climate Collaborative’s work focuses on health care supply chain and infrastructure; health care delivery; health professional education and communication; and policy, financing, and metrics.

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The Climate Collaborative is part of the NAM Grand Challenge on Climate Change, Human Health, and Equity, a multiyear global initiative to improve and protect human health, well-being, and equity by working to transform systems that both contribute to and are impacted by climate change.

Recent Publication 

Q+A with Victor Dzau, MD, President National Academy of Medicine

The National Academy of Medicine formed late last year a collaborative convening public and private stakeholders from across the health care industry to work together in reducing health care’s contribution to carbon emissions. Victor Dzau, MD, president of the National Academy of Medicine, discussed with Modern Healthcare Custom Media the impetus for establishing the collaborative, the importance of measuring this work and the business case for health care organizations to prioritize decarbonization.


Victor Dzau, President, National Academy of Medicine
Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
George Barrett, former Chairman and CEO, Cardinal Health
Andrew Witty, CEO, UnitedHealth Group


Elizabeth Finkelman, Senior Program Officer
Jessica Marx, Program Officer
Justin Massey, Associate Program Officer
Bailey Radenbaugh, Senior Program Assistant
Talia Lewis, Senior Communications Associate
Samantha Phillips, Communications Officer

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