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Sustainable clinic management

Why is sustainable clinic management important?

The German health care system is responsible for approx. 5 % of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to carbon dioxide (CO2) as greenhouse gases, the following in particular play a role in the clinic Inhalation anaesthetics play a decisive role. Some of them contain fluorinated hydrocarbons and are not only difficult to degrade, but up to 18 times more potent than CO2. Furthermore, supply chains in particular, but also energy consumption as well as the over-prescription of pharmaceuticals and diagnostic measures, are significant due to high greenhouse gas emissions. At KLIK Green Project of BUND e.V., a project on sustainable hospital management, 250 hospitals participated in 2021. It was shown that the introduction of the sustainable measures in many areas not only led to the considerable energy and resource savings of approx. 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases, but also to significant cost savings for all participating hospitals. A Study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston (USA) already proved in 2015 that patient and employee satisfaction could also be increased and patient mortality reduced in sustainable building infrastructures.

Expert opinion commissioned by the North Rhine-Westphalia Hospital Association cites the introduction of climate protection management as a first important step. In a concrete action plan, the report shows how hospitals can become climate-neutral by 2030. 

The following first steps on the road to sustainability are recommended:

  • Calculation of the hospital's carbon footprint

  • Establish climate officers/an interdisciplinary team to work on the implementation of sustainability measures.

  • First measures: Introduction of low-threshold measures such as paper saving through double-sided printing, waste separation, plastic reduction and energy minimisation.

  • In consultation with the management, if possible, introduce professional climate protection management.

  • Prompt review of the clinic building for energy refurbishment options (e.g. roofs, buildings and windows), as these are cost-intensive and require planning, but offer the greatest CO2 savings opportunities in the long term.

Further information and possibilities for action for clinics can be found on the Public database of the KLIK Green project by BUND e.V. can be viewed.

Funding opportunities
Some measures, such as renewable energies, mobility or conversion, are eligible for funding. You will find numerous funding opportunities for sustainable measures, for example here.

 Training measures

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