Dignity Health to Support World's First Universal Climate Change Agreement


SAN FRANCISCO - December 16, 2015 - Dignity Health, one of the nation's largest health systems, today announced it will adopt the Paris Pledge For Action, the world's first universal climate change Pledge for Action, which was prepared during the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, France. This comes on the heels of Dignity Health's recent announcement to restrict future investments in thermal coal companies, including divesture from a number of current holdings in the industry. The health system also strengthened its advocacy efforts by directly engaging with portfolio managers to include environmental sustainability into their investment decisions. 

"This landmark pledge is closely aligned with Dignity Health's healing mission, which recognizes the impact of climate change as a significant public health issue," said Sister Susan Vickers, RSM, vice president of corporate responsibility, Dignity Health. "Dignity Health is proud to have attended COP21 and solidified our unwavering commitment to improving sustainability and public health by signing the L'Appel de Paris." 

L'Appel de Paris, or The Paris Pledge for Action, brings together a myriad of voices on an unprecedented scale to stand united and implement the terms of the agreement. Dignity Health, along with major cities, regions, companies and investors from around the globe, promised to accelerate the transformative changes needed to meet the climate change challenge of limiting the rise of global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius. This includes raising environmental awareness, building a strong clean energy economy, and taking bolder action to implement mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Dignity Health is widely recognized for its efforts to reduce waste and develop and implement pollution prevention programs across its 39 hospitals to improve the health of patients, staff, and communities. It has pledged to increase its use of renewable energy to 35 percent and to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 a goal that the organization is already on track to surpass. 

The pledge is supported by the COP21 French Presidency and a diverse range of entities, including members of the Under 2 MOU, White House Act on Climate Pledge, Montreal Carbon Pledge, the PSI Insurance Network, the We Mean Business 'Road to Paris' initiatives, the Paris City Hall Declaration, among others.