The Greening of Health
The Greening of Health: The Convergence of Health and Sustainability
Green Health is emerging from the convergence of the global health economy and the growing public recognition of the imperative for global sustainability. This convergence is visible in the two distinct ways in which our concept of “health” has expanded. We are managing, preserving, andenhancing our health in ways that include underlying causes of well-being andthe interrelated systems of our lives, such as where we live, how we work, what groups we are part of, and so on.
At the same times many conscientious citizens are beginning to realize that the sustainability of our life on the planet is not a given, that what we do affects the planet in a fundamental way. Keeping our planetalive is not just the purview of heavy industry—the responsibility belongs to all of us.
To truly understand these shifts, we dig deep into the historical roots of green health, and examine the drivers behind why Green Health is emerging today. We present our forecasts for Green Health over the next ten years by viewing them through six lenses—six defining points-of-view that help us focus on the effects of Green Health for the future of health and healthcare. These six lenses and their forecasts are a tool for navigating the proliferating experiments of Green Health.
More than any other aspect of the global health economy, Green Health involves intense experimentation on the part of everyone involved—citizens, consumers, the government, and businesses—both within and outside of the health economy. Responses, actions, and products under the Green Health paradigm are proliferating and evolving, from new hospital building materials to re-branded alternative health practices, including new diets and lifestyles. Given the extent of the fundamental changes Green Health is likely to bring about, no stakeholders can afford to ignore this growing phenomenon.The goal of this report is to give you both the historical context and a senseof the coming trajectory of Green Health. It should help you consider the impacts of Green Health on your organization’s values, goals, strategies, and day-to-day activities.