EH&E analysis for HCWH reveals Boston’s healthcare greenhouse gas emissions were cut by 18% in 9 years despite growth

Health Care Without Harm contracted EH&E to perform an in-depth analyze of energy use data for Metro Boston healthcare facilities to assess progress towards achieving the climate goals shared by the City of Boston and Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission (GRC). The target is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2030, and 100% by 2050.

Directed by David MacIntosh, Chief Science Officer/ Director of Advanced Analytics and implemented by Julianne Meehan, Staff Scientist and Data Analyst, EH&E’s analysis involved more than 40,000 energy and GHG records from 2011 through 2019 covering hospitals in metropolitan Boston.

The findings of this latest analysis show Boston hospitals are making real improvements. GHG emissions were slashed by 18% from 2011 through 2019, despite serving more patients and expanding healthcare facility space by 10%.

These pollution reductions are equivalent to eliminating 195 million miles traveled by an average passenger vehicle. According to Health Care Without Harm’s Energy and Climate Impact Calculator, the GHG emissions avoided also reduced the social costs – human health and climate change-related impacts – of healthcare’s energy use by over $20.5 million per year.

A shift to renewable and zero-carbon energy on the part of several major institutions is the largest contributor to the reductions to-date. Although not the focus of this analysis, the findings also point to biomedical research laboratories, which make up 12% of the city’s health sector’s real estate, as a promising area for future energy efficiency efforts.

For a summary of key findings visit our blog post.

The complete findings and trends identified by EH&E’s analysis are detailed in a new report released by Health Care Without Harm on behalf of Boston’s GRC Health Care Working Group. The full report is available for download on the Health Care Without Harm website.

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