The Biggest Malpractice: How Hospitals Betray the Public Trust with Billions in Fossil Fuel Pension Investments

The first-of-its-kind report finds pension funds of four major hospital networks including the Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Ascension Health System, and the nation’s largest health system HCA Healthcare have over $4.6 billion invested in fossil fuels.

The report focuses on fossil fuel investments in direct contradiction to the health sector leadership’s calls for decarbonizing the health sector, including a well-publicized “Call to Action” by the President of the National Academy of Medicine; to, widespread ‘sustainability’ commitments made across the sector’s 1,200 private hospital systems; and, to the voluminous body of research confirming a range of serious threats to public health from fossil fuel pollution and climate change. 

Healthcare pensions can and must divest from fossil fuels to protect our health and our frontline communities that are so disproportionately affected by the fossil fuel industry.

The urgency of the climate crisis, the implications for global public health and equity, and the health sector’s singularly unique responsibilities towards public health demands a response from the health sector that directly addresses this root cause.

As part of the Climate Safe Pensions Network, the First, Do No Harm campaign launched in March 2022 through a publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. The campaign targets the healthcare sector, and calls on key high-profile private, large scale institutions such as the HCA Health, Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, Sloan Kettering, and NYU Langone to divest massive employee pension and retirement funds from fossil fuels.