Greener healthcare facilities could mean lower healthcare costs

September 13, 2019

In developed economies, healthcare activities emit an enormous amount of greenhouse gases, according to an article on the Fortune website. 

If U.S. healthcare were a country, it would be the thirteenth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. U.S. healthcare is also responsible for 9 percent of the country’s air pollution, 12 percent of acid rain emissions, and 10 percent of smog-forming emissions. 

Hospitals can cut down on their greenhouse gases and other emissions. Gundersen Health System, a Wisconsin-based non-profit, implemented a large scale energy plan, including geothermal wells, methane capture from landfills and cow manure, wind power, solar hot water and an onsite biomass boiler. 

The hospital has saved $20.3 million since 2008. Their energy cost in 2018 was $1.98 per square foot versus $2.60 per square foot in 2008. This was despite having approximately 30 percent higher electricity prices compared to its 2008 baseline.

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