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Penn Nursing Commitment to Climate Justice

Climate change and environmental degradation are increasingly affecting society. Changes to our natural environment are impacting the air and water we depend on and threatening our ability to produce food for the nearly 8 billion inhabitants of the Earth. Around the world, the impacts of climate change are hitting those most vulnerable. In Philadelphia, increasing temperatures and flooding pose serious and growing pressures on human health and well-being. At Penn Nursing, we are committed to promoting health, reducing health disparities, and eliminating environmental injustices including the loss of green spaces and air pollution. Nurses comprise the largest healthcare profession, and within healthcare they are trusted sources of information who provide resources and education for patients and their families. They play a translational role – helping community members to understand options and consequences of their medical and behavioral choices. With its mission to make a significant impact on health by advancing science, promoting equity, demonstrating practice excellence, and preparing leaders in the discipline of nursing, Penn Nursing is well positioned to address the social drivers of climate change and help communities to prepare for future impacts of climate change through teaching, research, and community engagement.

The values that guide us:

Integrity. Penn Nursing is dedicated to being a transformative force in improving health through nursing. Elevating the health and health care response to climate is central to this commitment, as is ensuring that every student enrolled at Penn Nursing can learn about the drivers and impacts of climate change.

Social Justice. Nurses work with a variety of populations, cultures, and communities. Considering the heightened impact of global warming on those most vulnerable, Penn Nursing is leading the elimination of health disparities, and in achieving health equity.

Inclusion. The responsibility to engage in the effort to address and adapt to climate change lies with everyone. Penn Nursing is uniquely positioned to contribute to this movement by educating and empowering nurses and nutrition professionals on how to lead and participate individually and collectively.

Innovation. Climate change is a complex social challenge, both in its causes and effects. Penn Nursing continues to innovate together with the other schools, centers, and institutes at the University in generating new approaches and solutions to this global issue.

Impact. Climate change has different impacts globally and locally. Penn Nursing with its commitment to advancing science, promoting equity, engaging communities, demonstrating practice excellence, shaping policy, and preparing leaders in nursing to build a healthier future for all is dedicated to being a partner in the planetary health solution.

Green Team: sustainability leaders in our community

Our Green Team works to raise awareness of environmental issues, to change the behavior of our community, and to promote sustainable practices that support the Penn Climate Action Plan and Penn Sustainability initiatives.

We challenge our community to adopt more sustainable behaviors, and we check our progress by using metrics to evaluate them.