Health care – Mitigation


Since the infrastructure related to health services is large, the sector's climate impacts can best be reduced by saving energy and improving energy efficiency without compromising quality of services. With respect to economics, the most profitable approach is to teach users sensible use of electricity, heat and water. Some health care industry buildings do not fulfil the tightening energy efficiency demands, so energy inspections and various renovations to improve energy efficiency are necessary.

Reducing emissions in traffic

Whenever possible, public transportation should be used and an attempt made to reduce unnecessary driving. Transportations can be reduced by improving logistics. In addition, drivers should be offered training for economical driving.

Attention to procurements and reduction of waste

Reduction of waste and saving of materials begins already during the purchase phase. Procurements can favour recyclable and renewable materials. In addition, purchased products should be such that their manufacture has burdened the environment as little as possible. For example, hospital supplies should favour products with an ecolabel. In addition, the energy consumption during operation should be given consideration. Use of disposable goods can be reduced by changing to disinfection of the equipment. With respect to disposable goods, materials suitable for energy waste should be favoured.

Sensible procurements create savings: for example, the Pirkanmaa hospital district saved EUR 7,100 in waste costs and produced 32,000 kilos less of hospital waste in a year only by beginning to use washable operating theatre coats.

Promoting health and wellbeing also promotes mitigation of climate change

According to the Finnish Local Government Act, a municipality should aim to promote sustainable development and the wellbeing of its residents. One of the special tasks of health care, promotion of health, is emphasised with respect to the mitigation of climate change. Healthy living habits that include a healthy, vegetable-rich diet and exercise, lower the future costs of health care. Paying attention to these is also important for the mitigation of climate change. The health care meal services should aim to serve vegetable-rich organic food preferably from local products.

References [1], [2], [3]