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Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: From bandages to buildings : identifying the environmental hotspots of hospitals
Authors: Keller, Regula
Muir, Karen
Roth, Florian
Jattke, Marleen
Stucki, Matthias
et. al: No
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.128479
Published in: Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume(Issue): 319
Issue: 128479
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Elsevier
ISSN: 0959-6526
Language: English
Subjects: Hospitals; Health; Carbon footprint; Pharmaceuticals; Life cycle assessment
Subject (DDC): 338.927: Environmental economics and sustainable development
362.11: Hospitals and related institutions
Abstract: The provision of healthcare leads to high environmental impacts and economic costs for our society. Within the healthcare sector, hospitals are a main contributor to both aspects. In order to determine which areas of a hospital contribute most to the environmental impact, a life cycle assessment of 33 acute care hospitals in Switzerland was conducted. The environmental impact of these hospitals was analysed at midpoint level for 16 environmental impact categories. The functional unit (FU) was defined as healthcare services provided by one full-time equivalent for one year. The analysis shows that building infrastructure and catering are the main contributors for various environmental impacts, followed by heating and electricity. Waste and wastewater, pharmaceuticals, and medical and housekeeping products are relevant for at least three categories, whereas textiles, and paper use and printing are only relevant for one to two categories. Direct water use and laundry, and large medical equipment are only responsible for a small share of the impact in all categories. The carbon footprint of an average hospital is 3.2 tonnes CO2eq per FU and the main impact stems from heating with 0.82 t CO2eq per FU. The large variation in the environmental impact of different hospitals reveals that there is a considerable yet untapped potential for sustainability improvements in the hospital sector.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Green Hospital
Appears in collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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