A new boiler & fuel leads to energy efficiency, less fuel consumption, & and lower emissions

Centro Médico ABC, Mexico

Case study summary

Implementation of actions targeted at reducing the climate footprint (and consequently the health impacts associated with climate change), including the consumption of energy from clean sources and the substitution of diesel with natural gas as fuel in boilers.

Demographic information

  • City: Mexico City
  • State/province/region: Mexico City
  • Country: Mexico
  • Type of institution: private hospital (private health care institution)
  • Number of full-time staff:  1,354 (operational staff on two campuses)
  • Number of part-time staff: 1,787 (administrative staff on two campuses
  • Patient population served per year: 
    •  28,462 patients treated per year (outpatients and inpatients)
    • Geographic area served: Mexico City, Mexico
    • Main health equity issues that affect your population: 
      • Maternal health 
      • Neonatal and child development; 
      • Access to high-quality health care services.
  • Number of beds: 374 beds
    Interdisciplinary team at Centro Médico ABC

    The issue

    Given the climate and air pollution crisis in Mexico City, the health sector needs to lead by example. Despite its main purpose of caring for people’s health, the health sector generates pollutants that harm health. Therefore, it is necessary to assess pollution sources and apply corrective actions to comply with applicable legislation and mitigate associated impacts. 

    Hospital goals

    1. Assess GHG emissions from energy and fossil fuel consumption.
    2. Reduce emissions from fossil fuel consumption through the implementation of new technologies.
    3. Reduce costs and emissions through the consumption of electricity from renewable sources.
    2019-2030 climate action plan

    Sustainable strategy implemented

    2019-2030 climate action plan

    Goal: 25% reduction of emissions compared to 2018. 

    Assessment: identification of main sources of emissions. 

    Approach: search for alternatives and financial assessment focused on reducing electricity and fuel consumption. 


    • Purchase 70% of electricity from clean sources.
    • Substitute diesel with natural gas as fuel in boilers.
    • Substitute water heating equipment with more efficient technology and adapt burners accordingly.
    Maintenance team
    Natural gas pipes
    Old diesel boiler
    New natural gas boiler

    Implementation process

    An assessment was conducted to understand the energy consumption profile and efficiency level. Energy consumption hotspots were identified, efficiency measures and renewable energies were assessed, and economic and environmental impacts were analyzed. The implementation of technical and energy management measures resulted in numerous savings and reductions in energy consumption and GHG emissions.

    The implemented measures include: 

    1. Purchase of electricity from clean (renewable) sources. The supplier was selected based on their technological research, infrastructure, development, economic savings potential, and sustainability model.
    2. Update of water heating equipment and substitution of diesel with natural gas as fuel. Additional measures include the conversion of boiler burners to hybrid (natural gas/diesel) systems, the deployment of a natural gas line, the replacement of boilers, and the reduction of equipment installed.

    The pie graph shows the profile of emissions from energy and fuel consumption. The blue section indicates emissions from electricity, 14,740.08. The orange section indicates emissions from combustible fuels, 1,971.09.

    Figure 2_Centro Médico (inglés)
    Implementation process_Centro Médico (inglés)

    Tracking progress

    Two CO2 emissions indicators were used for follow-up (table 1). These indicators are measured annually and calculated based on the amount of electricity used and the emission factor value established by the Energy Regulatory Commission (Figure 4).

    To ensure accountability, an environmental, social, and governance risk model was adopted (Fernández, 2020), with the aim of obtaining measurements comparable to global systems.

    Indicators associated with emissions and electricity consumption


    Progress achieved

    Environmental benefits: significant reductions in CO2 emissions

    Total emissions 2018-2022

    The chart shows a downward trend in emissions from electricity and fossil fuel consumption.

    Downward trend in emissions


    Economic benefits: 26% reduction in previous equipment operating costs, which is equivalent to nearly 1 million pesos annually per campus (approximately USD 50,000). 

    Social benefits: Reduced environmental impacts regarding noise and emissions.


    • In 2019, a series of existing agreements prevented the contracting of Iberdrola (renewable energy company) for the Santa Fe campus.
    • 100% coverage of natural gas supply is still unavailable in the area where the Observatorio campus is located.
    • There is resistance to change in the engineering and senior management areas.

    The map shows the coverage of natural gas supply in Álvaro Obregón municipality (shaded areas)

    Map of natural gas supply

    Lessons learned

    • Focusing on patients and vulnerable populations first builds support for broader environmental actions.
    • The participation of multiple areas in the energy assessment process was crucial. 
    • Identifying low or zero-cost actions is key, such as turning off air conditioners during non-working hours.

    Next steps

    • Substitute chiller air conditioners with remote-controlled, energy-efficient equipment featuring metering devices.
    • Increase the use of natural gas in water heating equipment by nearly 100%.
    • Purchase 100% clean electricity.
    • Obtain the environmental compliance certificate.
    Food service staff