Boston Hospitals Ahead of Energy Reduction Goals — Cut Energy Use by 9.4%, Emissions by 29%

EH&E Energy Analysis Includes 24,000 Records over 4 Years

Boston is well ahead of ambitious hospital energy reduction goals having made “significant energy reduction and greenhouse gas progress” by cutting energy use by 9.4% and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 29% from 2011 to 2015. Moreover, the healthcare institutions are expected to slash emissions by another 33% by 2020. The results are contained in a new report by Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), for hospitals in the Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s Health Care Working Group, based on an extensive analysis conducted by EH&E.

“EH&E has tremendous expertise in the operations of healthcare facilities — including deep experience optimizing energy use in clinical, research and laboratory space. We are proud to be able to contribute to the Health Care Without Harm mission,” said David MacIntosh, Sc.D., C.I.H., Director of Advanced Analytics, EH&E.

When compared to “business as usual” energy consumption increasing at 1.5% per year, the hospitals’ expected reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 is projected to total 47% — 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% by 2020, and 100% by 2050. “EH&E was an excellent partner in helping us analyze these mission-driven, financially smart strategic commitments to deep energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy,” said Paul Lipke, Health Care Without Harm’s Senior Advisor for Energy & Buildings, who managed the project.

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 (Btu) 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.

“The creativity that Boston hospitals are employing in their leadership in climate action planning and energy conservation, while continuing to deliver world-class patient care, is impressive and a leading example for the region — and the entire healthcare sector,” said MacIntosh.

Access the HCWH report, “Metropolitan Boston Health Care Energy & Greenhouse Gas Profile: 2011 through 2015, and 2020 Projection,” at

About EH&E
EH&E, a leading provider of environmental and engineering consulting services, guarantees that its application of science and engineering best practices will deliver measurable, quantifiable benefits in all aspects of the built environment. EH&E’s focus on evidence-based decision making and advanced capabilities in analytics and technology innovation help its clients achieve and quantify optimal performance from their people and assets.

About Health Care Without Harm
Health Care Without Harm seeks to transform the health sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it becomes ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice. Health Care Without Harm’s initiatives in Boston include toxic reductions, green building, energy efficiency, healthier, lower carbon food and climate change.

About the Boston Green Ribbon Commission
The Boston Green Ribbon Commission is a group of business, institutional and civic leaders in Boston supporting the implementation of the city’s Climate Action Plan. The plan includes strong recommendations on how Bostonians can increase efficiency, reduce emissions and prepare for extreme weather and higher sea levels. Many cities have produced similar plans, but few have enlisted the leadership of their local business community as effectively as Boston to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and 100 percent by 2050.

Health Care Without Harm’s Boston Green Ribbon Commission work is supported by the Barr Foundation.