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Leading by Example: Emissions Reductions in Public Health Agencies (OR)


This manual provides guidance on how to prioritize and implement the operational changes that allow public health agencies to shrink their climate impact, and it also provides guidance about how to demonstrate a commitment to a healthy future.

The following categories are discussed for addressing emissions reductions:

  • Energy;
  • Buildings;
  • Transportation;
  • Food;Purchasing;
  • Waste; and
  • Water.

Under each topic, there are specific steps that individual public health departments or organizations can take. For each proposed step, there are estimated capacity needs, cost, and impact of implementation. In recognition that many departments are stretched for human and financial resources, the manual identifies actions that can be implemented immediately at little cost as well as those that may need long-term planning and budget allocation. The manual suggests actions that can occur internally, as well as steps that can be taken for influencing decisions that are out of the control of health departments.

Because communication is key to making change either within the office, with your community, or at the state or territorial level, we’ve included a section with advice on how to address these issues both internally and externally. The concluding section provides a number of resources for the public health sector on climate change.

Primary Toolkit:

Climate Change Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Climate, Environmental Health, Mitigation, Workforce Competency


Institutional Author:

The Resource Innovation Group





Five most recent user comments

4 Stars of 5 - Very Useful
climate change
By David Overfield
very comprehensive mitigation guide for individuals and agencies

5 Stars of 5 - Extremely Useful
Great resource
By Matthew Davis
Leading by Example is an accessible tool that gives the reader concrete ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through public health operations. The section on communicating the role of public health in reducing emissions is particularly useful for professionals seeking to elevate the issue within their agency or organization. A great tool to keep on-hand!

The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.