The health care supply chain contributes more than 70% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to Health Care Without Harm’s Climate footprint report. The health care sector is the second-largest user of energy, and one of the largest users of water and of industrial chemicals, in part due to the goods and services they purchase. 

A focus on procurement is critical if health care organizations are to minimize negative impacts resulting from their operations and to create positive, lasting impacts for their staff, patients, and community.

Focus: Procurement

By addressing the way and criteria used to purchase products, health care organizations can positively impact the health of patients, communities, and the environment.

Sustainable procurement in health care can lead to:

  • Significant cost reductions through more efficient resources, streamlined processes, and labor management.
  • Supporting uninterrupted operations during times of crisis.
  • Attracting top talent and retaining employees for the long-term.
  • Driving cutting-edge innovation with suppliers to maximize procurement for performance.
  • Addressing inequities and health hazards embedded within the supply chain.


Our focus

Health Care Without Harm and its strategic partners work with health care organizations and national and subnational governments to significantly reduce the impact of the health care sector on the environment. Addressing sustainable procurement in the health care sector is one of the pillars of our work, considering the massive environmental footprint the sector has: If it were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter of the world.

Six steps for sustainable procurement:

  1. Address root causes
  2. Avoid unnecessary use of products
  3. Drive full transparency and accountability
  4. Support equity
  5. Accelerate innovation
  6. Help drive increasingly sustainable products, resilient supply chains and a circular economy.

Our work


Browse our collection of procurement resources