Estimate of the carbon footprint of the US health care sector

Section of Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 30.39). 11/2009; 302(18):1970-2. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1610
Source: PubMed
1 Follower
  • Source
    • "Even on a larger scale, a 5000 m 2 healthcare facility would emit only 500e900 tonnes (t) of CO 2 e annually as a result of onsite fuel and electricity consumption, depending on its location, the services it houses, and its ventilation system (Lomas and Ji, 2009; Murray et al., 2008). Cumulative health sector emissions, on the other hand, are significant: they are estimated to represent 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions in England (Sustainable Development Commission- Stockholm Environment Institute, 2008), and 8% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States (Chung and Meltzer, 2009), with more than half those emissions arising upstream in the supply chain. As with global emissions, for the health sector to substantially reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions will require the cumulative efforts of hundreds of component sub-sectors each reducing their emissions on what might appear to be relatively small scales. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Emergency medical services, or ‘ambulance services’, are a vehicle-intense component of the health sector that could contribute to that sector’s emissions reduction efforts. This analysis uses data from an inventory of ambulance service Scope 1 (arising from direct energy consumption) and Scope 2 (arising from purchased energy consumption) emissions, along with publicly available expenditure data and emissions multipliers derived from economy-wide inputeoutput tables, to estimate the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of Australian ambulance services. Total emissions are estimated at between 216,369 and 546,688 t CO2e annually, and represent between 1.8% and 4.4% of total Australian health sector emissions. Approximately 20% of ambulance service emissions arise from direct consumption of vehicle fuels (diesel and petrol) and aircraft fuels, with 22% arising from electricity consumption, and 58% arising from Scope 3 (e.g., supply chain; waste disposal) processes. Incorporating alternative fuels and higher efficiency vehicles into Australian ambulance services’ vehicle fleets could reduce their direct greenhouse emissions, but broader efforts targeting reduced electricity consumption, greener electricity generation, and environmentally friendly purchasing practices will be required to substantially reduce their total carbon footprint.
    Journal of Cleaner Production 12/2012; 37:135-141. DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2012.06.020 · 3.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "A recent study calculated the total global warming potential (GWP) 1 directly caused by the US healthcare sector to be 254 billion kilograms of CO 2 eq. Approximately 80% of the GWP in the healthcare sector is attributed to carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), which is one-tenth of the total CO 2 emissions in the US (Chung and Meltzer, 2009; Patrick, 2011). Although estimating GWP is important, expanding the scope of environmental impacts to include other negative environmental effects will create a more comprehensive understanding of the healthcare industry. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study introduces life cycle assessment as a tool to analyze one aspect of sustainability in healthcare: the birth of a baby. The process life cycle assessment case study presented evaluates two common procedures in a hospital, a cesarean section and a vaginal birth. This case study was conducted at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which delivers over 10,000 infants per year. The results show that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), waste disposal, and the production of the disposable custom packs comprise a large percentage of the environmental impacts. Applying the life cycle assessment tool to medical procedures allows hospital decision makers to target and guide efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of healthcare procedures.
    Science of The Total Environment 04/2012; 425:191-8. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.03.006 · 4.10 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Given the current operating climate, organizations are coming under pressure to develop and implement sustainability programs and projects, yet few managers truly understand what is meant by sustainability and its implications for managing organizations. This article examines the concept of sustainability and provides a broader definition of the term than going "green." Using a puzzle metaphor, the authors outline and explain the different components of sustainability and provide a checklist for achieving sustainability goals. In addition, resources such as guides and tools are reviewed and offered to assist managers in gaining more insight into the challenges and complexity of sustainability.
    The health care manager 01/2011; 30(2):133-8. DOI:10.1097/HCM.0b013e318216f4e5
Show more