Article

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
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    • "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. "
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    • "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. "
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