Climate Learning Initiative - Case studies: Learning objective 4

High-impact interventions to reduce emissions and build resilience and adaptive capacity.

Hospital Universitario Austral

The hospital blood collection process was completely restructured at medical laboratories. This included updating technology, which is more efficient in terms of energy consumption and blood volume needed. The process went from using one blood tube for each area to using only one for all lab areas. Besides improving the quality of patient service, this update resulted in 900 kg of biomedical waste avoided per year, which in turn avoids the release of more than 15,200 kg CO2e a year.

Hunter New England

Hunter New England Local Health District (HNELHD) will be carbon and waste neutral by 2030 as part of the ambitious initiative, Sustainable Healthcare: Together Towards Zero. The organization will be working over the coming years to achieve this green vision and take their place as an industry and community leader in sustainable health care.

Royal Darwin Hospital

This volunteer-led initiative activated the community, health workforce, and climate researchers to implement low-cost biophilic native landscaping within constraints of legacy infrastructure and funding scarcity. The project promotes staff and patient well-being, adaptation to a warming climate, support for the unfolding Australian biodiversity crisis, and enhances Indigenous cultural safety.

Clinical Hospital of Botucatu Medical School (HCFMB)

This case study reports on the challenges and path that a large public hospital in Brazil faced to reduce GHG emissions by 33.40% in five years. Goals included measuring emissions with GHG protocol tools creating indicators, and assessing risks, as well as strengthening climate leadership, resilience, and mitigation with training and education for professionals and students.

Hospital Santa Izabel

The Santa Casa de Misericordia da Bahia – Hospital Santa Izabel (HSI) has structured a management program for the efficiency of its power grid, including photovoltaic plant generation, renewable energy consumption, and actions for the efficiency and improvement of consumption habits.

Rede D´Or São Luiz

Energy consumption in hospitals has a direct connection to lighting, air conditioning, heating, water pumping, elevators, and medical equipment. Through the efficient use of energy and pursuit of autonomy, Rede D’Or aims to minimize the energy impact on its processes.

Transplant Hospital Euryclides de Jesus Zerbini

This study includes actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as eliminating the use of nitrous oxide as an anesthetic gas, reducing energy consumption with the actions implemented to achieve ISO 50001 certification, and replacing a computed tomography machine.

San Rafael de Pasto Hospital

This case study highlights the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in hospital industrial processes through the substitution of fuels and the use of renewable energy for laundry drying; a process optimization measure targeted at reducing occupational risks and environmental impacts.

Costa Rica
Hospital Clínica Bíblica

Anesthetic gases represent 15% of the hospital's overall carbon footprint, thus the importance of reducing their use and finding alternatives to minimize the environmental footprint associated with the process. This case study comprises all of the hospital’s operating rooms, including those at headquarters and the  Santa Ana branch.

Aravind Eye Hospital

This case study highlights the implementation of energy conservation measures and use of renewable energy to increase efficiency. It also shows how the carbon footprint of Aravind Eye Care was calculated using the climate impact checkup tool to show a 33% reduction from 2018 to 2022.

Thiruppuvanam Vision Centre of Aravind Eye Care

The implementation of satellite-assisted telemedicine centers provides subsidized primary eye care to peri-urban populations who previously did not have any eye care facilities in their region. This increases access to primary eye care, cures needless blindness, and reduces the carbon footprint by reducing patient travel to big tertiary care hospitals in nearby cities.

Sunway Medical Centre Velocity

Sunway Medical Centre Velocity (SMCV) is the first hospital in Malaysia to commit to Race to Zero by 2050. SMCV started to monitor carbon emissions via the climate impact checkup tool. Sustainability initiatives are implemented within the hospital according to the 10 Global Green and Healthy Hospitals interconnected goals, which have impacted the health promotion of our employees.

Centro Médico ABC

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.

Sindhuli Hospital

This case study reflects the health care waste management innovation of Health Environment and Climate Action Foundation (HECAF360) under the  WASH SDG Innovation Fund in partnership with the local Plan International Nepal and the Health Care Without Harm network. This project has installed safe, sustainable health care waste management with smart autoclaving technology that incorporates remote monitoring devices. This system prevents open waste burning and keeps waste from going to the landfill, which reduces greenhouse gasses such as methane and carbon dioxide.

Mary Johnston Hospital

This case study highlights MJH’s energy solutions in response to the global call for environmental stewardship. It will also discuss the challenges, opportunities, and outcomes from each phase of the projects.

St. Paul’s Hospital of Iloilo

St. Paul's Hospital of Iloilo is a health facility that prioritizes environmental sustainability. The primary goal of this initiative is to alleviate financial and resource burdens that hospitals experience due to migration of populations, increasing demand, and lifestyle standards of patients. The hospital focused on improving operations without substantial infrastructure alterations to create a sustainable and cost-effective health care system that can cater to growing demands.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

The hospital developed an energy reduction plan that centered around the installation of a photovoltaic system to reduce energy use and carbon emissions of the hospital.

A solar photovoltaic (PV) system is a renewable energy technology that converts sunlight into electrical energy. The system consists of several components, including solar panels, inverters, batteries (optional), and other electrical components.
Solar PV systems can be used for a variety of applications, such as lighting, low-power equipment, and small plug loads. This allowed the hospital to reduce energy consumption during the daytime. In addition, it reduces dependency on fossil fuel-based electricity.

South Africa
Pholosong Hospital

The project aims to reduce the waste that ends up in a landfill, promoting the zero-waste-to-landfill site initiative and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project was adopted as part of the Global Green and Healthy Hospital goals under waste in September 2019.

South Africa
George Regional Hospital

The transition from offsite and outsourced to onsite treatment of infectious waste has significantly reduced George Hospital’s carbon footprint. The installation of equipment that treats health care risk waste (hazardous waste) through mechanical – and microwave technology that allows for its safe disposal in a local landfill reduces emissions from incineration, which is the main form of treating health care risk waste in South Africa.

Galician Health Service

The Galician Health Service has introduced electric ambulances at the Ourense hospitals to address emissions from medical transport. The ambulances perform very well and help significantly reduce costs, as well as, CO2 emissions. They are best suited to non-urgent complementary services, such as the transfer of patients between hospitals.

United Kingdom
NHS Highland

By removing high-emissions anesthetics from operating theatres and implementing low-flow anesthesia machines, Raigmore Hospital significantly reduced emissions produced by their operating theatres. This initiative was implemented as a part of the Green Theatre Project, which consists of 11 actions to make operating theatres more sustainable. The project was so effective that it was integrated into the NHS Scotland climate emergency and sustainability strategy for 2022 through 2026 as the national green theatres program.

United States
University of California San Diego Health

C San Diego’s commitment to the Cool Food Pledge has led the system to develop tools and programs to procure and serve more plant-based meals while increasing the use of local and seasonal offerings. The goal of Cool Food is to reduce GHGs from food purchasing by 25% by 2030.

United States
University of Vermont Medical Center

In an effort to seek data on the amount of nitrous oxide that was used by providers in 2021, the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) EPIC Optime analysts reviewed the hospital’s anesthesia providers’ records to determine the amount of gas administered versus the amount of gas the amount of gas purchased. (EPIC is the facility’s electronic health record, and Optime is the application providers in the perioperative department use for all of their documentation.)