Health and Climate at Hospitals: First Do No Harm

April 13, 2017

 

With a founding principle of “First, do no harm,” it makes a lot of sense that the health care industry is increasingly embracing sustainability measures and implementing waste reduction practices. Physicians see the health impact that climate change has on their patients. But by their very nature, hospital systems operate around-the-clock and are massive energy consumers–the second biggest in the United States.

 

Hospital systems are seeking to become leaner energy users and are discovering that energy efficiency upgrades can directly impact patient health and comfort, improve operational reliability, help meet sustainability targets and, with third-party financing, save millions with no upfront costs.

 

According to Healthcare Finance, “Hospitals save millions with sustainability programs, cut back on waste,” hospitals are targeting energy efficiency improvements and waste reduction to decrease their collective environmental footprint and save millions.

 

Currently, hospitals emit an estimated eight percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, produce more than 4.67 million tons of waste every year and use 7 percent of the country’s commercial water supply. Metrus has worked successfully with hospitals, like Kuakini in Hawaii  to ensure that hospitals not only meet their sustainability goals, but improve energy resiliency, implement upgrades that enhance the quality of the hospital environment for patients, and save millions of dollars in energy costs. With the help of Metrus, Kuakini Medical Center was able to save $2.5 million in energy and operational costs. Since it is not easy to get an energy efficiency project prioritized and funded, access to financing is often what makes-or-breaks a project.

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