Climate Change and Health Case Studies

Through creating sustainable business practices and reducing carbon emissions, the health sector can play a lead the way in addressing climate change.

Germany - Heating and Climate in the OR

In the Bethel Berlin hospital, the use of combined heat and power units as well as the substitution of old pumps by modern speed-controlled ones in the heating system provide enormous savings. In the Hubertus Protestant Hospital, the efficiency of the cooling units increased by about one third during the transitional seasons. Moreover, a subsurface rainwater tank serves as a reservoir for park irrigation and, in emergency cases, it can be used by the fire brigade for immediate fire fighting. Thus both hospitals in Berlin are able to reduce their water and energy costs by some hundred thousand Euros and to use the saved money where it is most needed - in the care sector.

United Kingdom - Carbon Hotspots in NHS

The world’s first combined health, public health and social care carbon footprint for a national health system estimates the health and care system carbon footprint to be 32 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). To protect the wellbeing of the UK population the NHS, public health and social care system has set an ambitious goal to reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions across building energy use, travel and procurement of goods and services by 34% by 2020.

The project is divided in three different parts, covering Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Gases; Energy and Travel and Transport.

Germany - Energy Saving Label for Hospitals

HCWH Europe member, BUND-Berlin (Friends of the Earth Berlin) runs a German-wide project on energy saving hospitals. In the last eleven years 35 German hospitals, have been awarded the BUND energy saving label for hospitals. All together these hospitals saved 54,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, 17,000 MWh/a of electricity and 130,000 MWh/a thermal energy. The hospitals collectively also reduced the energy costs by 8.2 million euros per year. Therefore, every refurbished hospital has saved from a minimum of EUR 50,000 to a maximum of 1.2 million euros per year. A national network and annual meeting ensures that hospitals can engage in a national information exchange and are encouraged to enter the challenge to receive the label. The label has four high criteria, of which two criteria need to be fulfilled: 

  • Reduction of CO2 output by 25%
  • Continuous reductions of energy consumption
  • Long-term optimal energy consumption
  • Implementation of an energy management plan.