Climate change is more encompassing than rising temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events. Its impacts are more widespread and devastating. For example, increasing air pollution and the contamination of food and water can severely affect human health. Weather can cause serious injuries and deaths and even disable healthcare facilities when communities need them most.
The healthcare industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for ~5%. Climate change is a healthcare problem, and the global healthcare sector must play a key role in decarbonization.
So what can you do?
In this post, I’ll introduce a practical 3-phase approach to help your organization embark on – and accelerate – a decarbonization journey.
Preparing for decarbonization
Before discussing the 3-phase approach, you may have some basic questions about decarbonizing your facilities.
1. Why net-zero? Many climate-related terms are in use these days, but ‘net-zero’ (or net-zero carbon) is ideal for setting attainable decarbonization goals. IPCC’s Science-based Target Initiatives will likely become the industry standard for corporate net-zero targets. The standard defines three scopes of emissions that should be considered:
- Scope 1: Direct emissions from facility operations
- Scope 2: Indirect emissions from purchased sources
- Scope 3: Indirect emissions generated by your supply chain
Additionally, Scope 4 emissions are emission reductions that occur outside a product’s lifecycle or value chain but as a result of using the product. Consider telehealth systems as an example. By enabling remote care, telehealth reduces the number of patients traveling to the office and, thereby, avoids the CO2 emissions associated with that commute. Many initiatives don’t require Scope 4 reporting; therefore, it remains a speculative topic. However, the topic is important in the full scope of your emissions reporting.
2. How do you benefit from reducing emissions?
- When you reduce energy use, you reduce energy costs.
- If you implement a renewable energy microgrid, it will also help you boost facility resilience.
- Supporting a healthier community can boost your ‘green’ image and helps you be better prepared for sustainability regulations.
Reducing your CO2 footprint is not just good for the planet; it’s suitable for your operations and bottom line.
3. How do you fund decarbonization initiatives? Fortunately, you can access many global government stimulus plans, and our Climate Solutions Experts can help simplify this. Our experts can provide you with the advice and end-to-end solutions you need to meet your objectives.
The 3-phase decarbonization process
To bridge your decarbonization ambitions with effective actions, we follow a comprehensive approach, with details found in our new eGuide:
Phase 1: Strategize
Align all stakeholders in your organization to your strategy:
- Define success and set science-based targets
- Structure your decarbonization roadmap and governance
- Fund initiatives
- Communicate commitments
Phase 2: Digitize
Connect people and processes under a unified IoT-enabled umbrella. Integrated digital healthcare technologies provide critical and actionable data to support four important steps:
- Modernize building systems
- Monitor assets and associated emissions
- Identify savings and inefficiencies
- Report and benchmark progress
Phase 3: Decarbonize
Deploy your plan to decarbonize operations:
- Electrifying operations with greener tech like heat pumps and connected EV charging solutions will reduce emissions and energy use.
- Reduce energy use by optimizing your systems and processes. This requires advanced solutions – like EcoStruxure Building, EcoStruxure Power, and EcoStruxure for IT – with software and services that can reveal opportunities while boosting intelligence, efficiency, and reliability of your building management, electrical distribution, and data center cooling infrastructures.
- Replace on-site renewable energy with a proven microgrid management solution with expert advice, capabilities, and affordable financing options.
- Engage your value chain to create strategies that touch all the important aspects of your supply chain.
In the next post, we’ll look at some examples of how healthcare decarbonization is progressing in Australia.
Our IoT-enabled, cybersecure EcoStruxure for Healthcare platform is a standards-compliant infrastructure that will help you meet your organization’s net-zero goals, offering power and building management dashboards and analytics, a complete range of remote digital and advisory services, and on-site field services.