NEEDHAM, Mass. – Boston Boston hospitals are well ahead of ambitious energy reduction goals having made “significant energy reduction and greenhouse gas progress” by cutting energy use by 9.4 percent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent from 2011 to 2015. Moreover, the healthcare institutions are expected to slash emissions by another 33 percent by 2020. The results are contained in a new report by Health Care Without Harm, for hospitals in the Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s Health Care Working Group, based on an analysis conducted by Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc.
When compared to “business as usual” energy consumption increasing at 1.5 percent per year, the hospitals’ expected reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 is projected to total 47 percent — the equivalent of eliminating the emissions of 42,220 passenger vehicles. This progress is well ahead of the city of Boston’s goals for the group to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent by 2020, and 100 percent by 2050.
Challenges remain, however, in the form of new and increased demands for energy resulting from the addition of new buildings, new clinical facilities and advanced medical equipment; the treatment of an increasing proportion of more critically ill patients and the operation of millions of square feet of biomedical research laboratories.
HCWH retained EH&E to analyze energy use information for 22 metro Boston healthcare organizations for the years 2011 through 2015 to identify trends and drivers of energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions and to look toward 2020. EH&E analyzed more than 24,000 records of information. The institutions range in gross floor area from 269,000 to 5,500,000 square feet with a median of 1,200,000 square feet. Each year, combined they consume over 6.6 trillion British thermal units of energy.
Boston hospitals and medical centers have a unique challenge in addressing energy consumption given their mission to serve tens of thousands of ill patients with advanced health care technology that is sourced from high-energy intensity research facilities. The “bench to bedside” translational research is a key driver in the Boston market.
Access the HCWH report, “Metropolitan Boston Health Care Energy & Greenhouse Gas Profile: 2011 through 2015, and 2020 Projection,” at https://noharm.org/boston.