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Climate Resilience & Adaptation


Headline News


In Fall 2019, Dr. Victoria Lee (President and CEO, Fraser Health) and Dr. Mary Ackenhusen (President and CEO, VCH) shared with health staff their perspectives on leadership in climate resilience and sustainability.

Dr. Lee noted that "in the recent Future of Environmental Sustainability in Health Care survey conducted across Lower Mainland health authorities, many of you rated environmental leadership as 8.8/10 in importance for the organization"; whilst Dr. Ackenhusen pointed out that "senior leadership commitment to environmental sustainability helps ensure VCH continues to prioritize and improve along its path of sustainability."

Moreover, our leadership shared that:

  • The reality of climate change is very worrisome as it directly impacts the health of people. There are a number of ways our Fraser Health Together framework helps us keep our Healthy People priority area front and centre. Aligning to the government climate action plan is one.
  • Since 2017, [Fraser Health has] reduced our carbon footprint by eight per cent and our overall carbon intensity by 19 per cent since 2007.
  • We developed the Climate Resilience and Adaptation program to help us better understand and prepare for emerging climate change risks.
  • We’re making positive steps along our sustainability journey:
    • As the first health authority in Canada to complete a health facility focused climate resilience study, VCH acknowledges the need to reshape the way we deliver exceptional care in our new climate reality.
    • As part of the provincial CleanBC commitment to achieve net-zero emissions, VCH achieved carbon neutrality for the eighth consecutive year in 2018.
    • VCH publishes a Carbon Neutral Action Report to share our sustainability progress and will be publishing a VCH Environmental Performance Action Report this year.
    • Under our GreenCare Strategic Framework, we’re minimizing energy and water consumption, diverting waste and promoting active and clean transportation practices.

Climate Resilience & Adaptation: our regional program

Launched in March 2016, our Climate Resilience & Adaptation Program emerged from a recognition that:

  • climate risks and impacts to health assets & infrastructure already have cascading impacts on health service delivery;
  • development of site-based low-carbon adaptation options will increase the long-term resilience of health campuses and organizations to climate shocks and stresses; and,
  • co-benefits with human health and emissions reductions must be identified and enhanced wherever possible.

For an overview of how Fraser Health, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) are working to better understand climate risks, address cascading impacts on patient care and build a climate resilient health system, please see (and share!) our two-page executive summary series Investing in Climate Resilient Health Facilities & Operational Services.

Below are links to resources for those who are looking for a deeper dive into how we are reducing climate risks and building resilience with our partners and collaborators in our health system, government and public sector, professional services, academia and non-profit organizations.


Select Projects & Initiatives (ongoing)

  • Resilience Guidelines for Health Infrastructure Planning & Design
  • Moving Toward Climate Resilient Health Facilities for PHSA
  • Mobilizing Building Adaptation & Resilience (MBAR, led by BC Housing)
  • Integrated Climate Vulnerability Assessment & Adaptation Planning, a joint project with:
    • Vancouver Coastal Health, Healthy Built Environment Team (lead agency); 
    • Fraser Health Population & Public Health; 
    • Health Emergency Management BC, Lower Mainland; and,
    • Facilities Management (Fraser Health, VCH & PHC, PHSA)

Publications & Contributions


Communities of Practice

The program shares experiences and exchanges knowledge with diverse stakeholders and audiences to reduce climate risks and build resilience at the health building, campus and community levels including:

  • HealthADAPT Community of Practice (contact: hc.climate.health.adaptation-adaptation.climat.sante.sc@canada.ca).
  • Public Sector Climate Risk and Resilience Community of Practice, organized by the BC Climate Action Secretariat (contact: Julia.Berry@gov.bc.ca).
  • Climate Risk Network, organized by the Fraser Basin Council (contact: cmurphy@fraserbasin.bc.ca).
  • Inspiring Climate Action: BC Professionals Adaptation Network, led by Royal Roads University Resilience by Design Lab
  • Adaptation to Climate Change Professional Association Committee (ACTPAC), organized by SFU Adaptation to Climate Change Team (contact: adapt@sfu.ca).
  • Adaptation Community of Practice (ongoing, Metro Vancouver). Co-organizer with City of Vancouver, Simon Fraser University and Metro Vancouver.
  • Practically Green Workshops Series for Sustainability Intrapreneurs (2015-17). Co-organizer with SAP, VanCity, Hootsuite and Vancouver Aquarium.



Terms & Definitions

Assessments & Toolkits

Other Resources


Please contact Angie Woo, Climate Resilience & Adaptation, Lead for further information at angie.woo@fraserhealth.ca