Environmental Sustainability

Island Health is committed to caring for patients and the environment.

This means working together to reduce our carbon emissions and improve efficiencies, while delivering excellent care. 

Watch the video Greening Our Practice below.

Climate Change Accountability Report

British Columbia has some of the most advanced climate legislation in the world. As a public sector organization we must report our carbon emissions and ensure we are 'carbon neutral'.

Latest Island Health Climate Change Accountability Report
Previous Reports 

Energy Efficiency & Conservation

BC’s carbon neutral legislation and CleanBC plan equires we reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 from 2010 levels. Island Health’s Energy team works with many departments as well as utilities (BC Hydro & FortisBC) to reduce electricity and natural gas use at our owned buildings.

Although energy upgrades such as efficient boilers and lighting retrofits are important, it’s clear we cannot meet our carbon reduction target with a “business as usual” strategy. The Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP) is a five-year plan and our road map to a more sustainable future. We need more than technology to reach our carbon goals. We need everyone's help.

Green Initiatives

There are many initiatives underway at Island Health to reduce our environmental impact and promote positive changes in how we deliver care.

Climate Change Adaptation

In addition to reducing harmful carbon emissions, Island Health is preparing for a changing climate. Climate change has the potential to impact human health, and also presents risks to health care infrastructure and operations. To ensure Island Health is well prepared, we are conducting a range of assessments, identifying vulnerabilities, and working to build resilience.

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital was the first hospital in Canada to complete a PIEVC Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment.

Island Health is applying the following tools to enhance resilience at our facilities:

•    Climate Resilience Guidelines for BC Health Facility Planning and Design
•    Climate Change Extreme Event Screening Tool for Projects
•    Contract Addendum: Designing for a Changing Climate


Island Health’s recycling program is available at our owned health care facilities. Many materials are recycled and worn linens are donated to community groups.


Island Health composts lawn and garden waste where community facilities allow and kitchen waste is composted in Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum and Victoria.

Green Buildings

All new hospitals must be built with “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” principals, or LEED, and meet LEED Gold certification. 

Island Health currently has four LEED Gold facilities:

  • North Island Hospital, Campbell River & District campus
  • North Island Hospital, Comox Valley campus
  • Patient Care Centre at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria
  • Emergency Department at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital

Island Health has one LEED Silver facility – the Oceanside Health Centre in Parksville.

Paper Reduction

Island Health reports carbon emissions from office paper consumption as part of the Climate Change Accountability Report. In addition to actively reducing our paper usage, Island Health uses tree-free paper made with the residue waste of sugar production. Saving paper also saves toner, trees, water and reduces our carbon footprint.

We "Travel Smart"

Island Health encourages staff to choose “travel smart” options such as walking, bicycling, transit and carpooling. Patients can also reduce travel time and costs by participating in the Telehealth program which brings expert health care to rural communities via video link. The Logistics Department is managing our fleet by replacing aged vehicles with high efficiency models and zero-emissions vehicles.

Solar Energy at Island Health

Island Health has five solar arrays including one of the largest solar photovoltaic (electricity) sites on Vancouver Island at West Coast General Hospital (WCGH) in Port Alberni, BC. See the solar energy produced at WCGH in real time on-line. Victoria General, Saanich Peninsula and Aberdeen Hospitals (Victoria), as well as Cairnsmore Place (Duncan) have solar “thermal” installations which preheat hot water and reduce natural gas use and their emissions.