Friday, July 25, 2008

Global Health and Safety Initiative

Global Health and Safety Initiative (GHSI) was launched in October 2007 and it just released a good website so readers can understand the vision of this organization and get update of what is going on there. The website states that "GHSI is working to build a movement in healthcare which marries safety and sustainability and puts healthcare leaders at the center of a global awareness to support healthy people in healthy communities on a healthy planet". You can get more information on GHSI at

Recently, Health Building Network has interviewed Bob Eisenman, PhD, the Executive Director of GHSI where the transcript can be found at Health Building Network. When asked about the relevance of the GHSI to the growing green building movement, Eisenman said the following statement.

"Health care facilities and operations have a large ecological footprint that we are only beginning to understand and quantify. Presently health care is in the midst of a building explosion. Obviously the choices we make in the design and construction of new facilities will influence the impact that those buildings have on both the local and global environment. As health care institutions, we believe we can play an especially positive role with regard to establishing examples of how our choices can have long-term positive impacts on human health. Even existing facilities can play an important role in establishing positive examples in terms of energy use, operations and purchasing decision-making, and the health impacts of the materials we select for building, renovation and routine maintenance. What we are doing with the GHSI is creating a sector-wide partnership among some of the largest and most influential health care institutions in order to build a learning community and leverage the expertise and power of GHSI partners to accelerate the pace of the transformation we believe we can lead. I think this impact will be felt in the green building movement."

This is a good statement because in my opinion health and safety is actually part of sustainability, particularly social sustainability.

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