Series spotlights health sector’s role in building healthy, sustainable, equitable communities

  • US & Canada

The Boston Green Ribbon Commission (GRC) brings together key sectors from across the City of Boston including health care, higher education, cultural institutions, commercial real estate, and others to support the City of Boston’s work to build a more healthy, sustainable, and equitable city. 

The GRC launched a virtual series known as the Green Ribbon Commission Climate Action Exchanges, or GRCx, designed to accelerate the implementation of the city’s Climate Action Plan by providing high-quality, useful content on climate resilience and carbon mitigation. 

Recently, GRCx hosted three sessions focused on building an equitable, healthy, climate-resilient future for Boston, inviting representatives from the health sector, including Health Care Without Harm, to share their success stories: 

Anchor Institution Strategies to Advance Climate Action shared the many ways in which anchor mission strategies can drive inclusive, local, and just climate action. Speakers from Health Care Without Harm and Boston Medical Center (BMC) discussed anchor institution strategies and explored BMC’s work to build sustainable, local food and energy systems.

Speakers included: 

  • Gary Cohen, Health Care Without Harm president and co-founder
  • Betsy Skoda, Health Care Without Harm community food systems coordinator
  • Dave Maffeo, Boston Medical Center senior director of support services
  • Dr. Megan Sandel, Boston Medical Center co-director of the GROW clinic
  • Jen Faigel, CommonWealth Kitchen executive director
  • Ben Myers, Boston Properties vice president of sustainability

View the video or slide deck

Our History – Understanding the Context Behind Today’s Climate Injustices and our Health covered the legacy of Boston’s social injustices, how the historical context has led to a climate and health crisis for low-income communities, and current efforts for a just transition to a more healthy and sustainable future for all.

Speakers included: 

  • Jennie Stephens, School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs at Northeastern University professor & director
  • Julian Agyeman, Tufts University professor of urban and environmental policy and planning
  • Cate Mingoya, Groundwork USA director of capacity building
  • Maria Belen Power, GreenRoots associate executive director

View the video or slide deck.

Current Research and Opportunities for Progress explored climate change as it relates to extreme heat, air quality, and health care and the direction Boston must take to mitigate the impacts of climate change on our livelihoods and health in an equitable way.

Speakers included:

  • H.G. Chissell, Advanced Energy Group, founder and CEO
  • Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Harvard Chan C-CHANGE interim director
  • Dr. Madeleine Scammell, Boston University School of Public Health associate professor of environmental health 
  • Dr. Jonathan Levy, Boston University School of Public Health professor of environmental health, 
  • Kalila Barnett, Barr Foundation climate resilience program officer 

View the video or slide deck

GRCx will host an additional session Tuesday, June 15 focused on policies and technology needed in the future to implement this critical resilience and equity work. For recordings and slides of other sessions on climate resilience and carbon mitigation visit the GRCx page