According to a feature published by the Yale School of Medicine: Greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from hospitals, globally, emitted around 748 metric tonnes of GHG annually. Given these figures, sustainability isn’t a buzzword anymore: hospitals and care facilities need to be part of the solution to achieving Net Zero by 2050.
Due to the ill effects of climate change, the healthcare sector needs to change its mindset and formulate long-term sustainable strategies. Sustainability has its financial and environmental benefits, which will help hospitals and other care systems thrive in a Net Zero future.
To better understand the importance of sustainability, here are the top reasons why the healthcare sector should invest in it.
It Pays Off Eventually
If a care facility is sustainable or energy efficient, it saves money by using less energy. These savings help build a strong case, when presented in front of the board. The ROI may differ, depending on the measures used to save on cost. As the old saying goes, “Less is more.”
Hospital equipment consume more energy than regular home appliances. Without proper maintenance measures or having a “lifecycle mindset”, these life-saving equipment may turn into energy leeches or phantom loads. In fact: power wastage from these phantom loads amount to $860 million annually (for both commercial and residential users).
Having a life-cycle mindset means knowing when equipment needs replacing and including energy efficiency in the equation. Investing in power-efficient hospital equipment helps boost a care facility’s bottom line and save more funds for other sustainable projects.
Attract More Patients with Sustainable Measures
Unknown to many: hospitals which invest heavily in sustainability attract more patients. This increases a hospital’s revenue stream, which translate to a better bottom line to sustain the facility’s operations. Most patients now prefer and support care facilities which implement sustainable practices.
“Green” hospitals or care facilities which implement sustainable initiatives translate to better public healthcare. The public care about hospitals who decided to reduce their carbon footprints by going green. Establishing an appealing beachhead for patients means they are willing to pay premium for services which are environmentally sustainable.
Help Keep the Community Healthy and Sustainable
The healthcare sector is responsible for the welfare of its immediate community. Investing in sustainability means a hospital ensures its community’s wellbeing is healthy. It’s a hospital’s social responsibility to go beyond its bottom line and to keep the environment safe.
Aside from keeping the community’s environment safe and healthy, the healthcare sector must check their supply chain. Carbon emissions and other climate-related risks come from supply chains who don’t practice sustainability. It’s important for the sector’s leaders to check these supply chains to ensure environmental laws are followed.
The community relies on the health sector to ensure that dangerous, climate-related risks are mitigated. Analysing for possible concerns or issues will resolve these problems and keep the sector it’s community resilient to climate change.
“Green Business Practices” Empower Healthcare Workers
Healthcare workers feel empowered if a hospital’s culture is based on sustainability. The money saved from energy savings and efficient equipment means funds for employee wages and benefits. If they’re paid well, expect them to stay and become more productive.
Loyalty should always be prioritised, especially in the healthcare sector. Finding the right hospital staff is difficult and keeping them happy is a huge challenge. Healthcare facilities which adopted sustainable business practices need not worry about losing manpower. If these workers are well compensated, they will stay loyal and help their hospital’s bottom line improve.
Sustainability Improves Care Pathways to Reduce Carbon Footprints.
As mentioned earlier: the healthcare sector contributes to most of the carbon emissions globally, and it’s comparatively higher than the shipping and aviation industry. Reducing the sector’s carbon footprint means direct actions to revamp its strategies while improve vita care pathways.
Improving care pathway means increasing each hospital or healthcare facility’s energy efficiency. Energy efficient care facilities means reducing the carbon footprint of each patient. This goal can be achieved by analysing the impact of in-patient care and finding ways to reduce it. If a patient can be placed under virtual home care, it will reduce his or her carbon footprint significantly.
Early patient discharge and virtual home care may sound radical, but these are alternative care pathways which can help address a hospital’s carbon footprint dilemma. Another issue which can be addressed by better care pathways is the backlog of surgical procedures. Maximising hospital facilities will not only serve patients who need life-saving surgery, but it will also lessen re-admission of patients.
The main goal is to improve the healthcare system, address patient needs, and introduce better ways to improve patient care. Once all of these are resolved, a hospital’s carbon footprint will be reduced dramatically.
The Healthcare Sector Connects with the Net Zero Experts
The healthcare sector plays a huge role in promoting sustainability in their respective communities. Their role goes beyond becoming energy efficient, but they can also promote the connection between good health and sustainability.
Partnering with Ecosave will help this sector and their communities reach their Net Zero goals. Connect with Ecosave by Booking a Free Appointment or calling us at 1300 55 77 64 today!