Evaluating a hospital’s carbon footprint – A method using energy, materials and financial data

Brandon X. Lum, Hubert M. Tay, Rachel X. Phang, Steven B. Tan, Eugene H. Liu


Background: Healthcare systems have to prepare for climate change’s health impact, while reducing healthcare’s contribution to global warming. Most evaluations of healthcare’s greenhouse gas emissions involve national level methodologies.
Objective: As sustainability metrics become a key factor in hospital management, the paper describes a method for quantifying emissions at a large tertiary care hospital in Singapore.
Methods: Hospital operational and financial data was used to determine the greenhouse gas effect of the hospital. Emission factors from government and academic sources were used for on-site and purchased energy emissions. Spend based emission factors from the environmentally-extended multiregional input-output (EE-MRIO) Eora database were used for other indirect emissions. This provided the total carbon footprint across the various scopes.
Results:The hospital had an annual carbon footprint of 245,962 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). Scope 1 emissions accounted for 4,223 tonnes of CO2e, scope 2 for 38,380 tonnes of CO2e and scope 3 for 165,190 tonnes of CO2e. Operating carbon totalled 207,793 tonnes of CO2e, and 38,169 tonnes of scope 3 CO2e was attributed to capital expenditure projects. Medical equipment, pharmaceutical supplies and electricity were the largest contributors to the hospital’s carbon footprint.
Conclusions: Identifying key areas contributing to emissions can enable targeted approaches in reducing a hospital’s carbon footprint, better preparing the hospital as the carbon economy evolves to include the healthcare sector.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jha.v11n2p33


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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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