Sustainability in the health sector

As hospitals and other health centers are the places where citizens’ health is best preserved, it would be logical to think that in these, both short and long-term work would be done to reduce the number of patients progressively, that is to say, to achieve a better quality of life for all citizens, is not it?

What if we tell you that perhaps there is a detail that is being overlooked in a large part of the sector? Of course, sustainability. And it is that a hospital, on average in Spain, generates around 1 Ton of waste per 150 citizens per year.

Plastic is the most common waste in health centers because, due to its high isolation of the content from the outside, it allows to maintain optimal health conditions at a very low price and a very light weight.

This does not mean, of course, that there is no solution to this problem. As we are describing in these weekly posts, you can always be more sustainable. That is why many hospitals in Spain have already started campaigns to reduce their impact on the environment in many different ways, such as:

  •         Develop their own environmental action plans.
  •         Develop good practices and be accredited with EMAS and ISO 14001 certifications.
  •         Develop internal minimization and waste management programs.
  •         Develop protocols for the efficient use of energy.
  •         Acquire local and ecological foods.
  •         Implementation of renewable energy technologies to cover one of the most significant consumptions of the centers, domestic hot water.
  •         Implementation of rainwater reuse systems.

And now that we have started talking about energy… did you know that hospitals have their own power generation systems in case there is any cut in the electricity supply? Well, these systems have traditionally been gas turbines or diesel engines, but increasingly, hospitals are changing these not environmentally-friendly systems by other solutions, which develop the same role, but with less negative effect on the planet, such as large hydrogen fuel cells. Note that, if this hydrogen is generated from renewable sources, there are no direct emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Taking advantage of this post, we announce that May 31 starts the week for sustainable development and as you can see, sustainability can be practiced from any position in the system, it is not necessary to be a politician, environmentalist, etc… In these weekly posts we leave ideas and points of view on which to think and develop to go improving together the planet in which we live.

Finally, tell you that, because of this week dedicated to sustainable development, many cities have special events for these dates with really interesting activities, so we invite you to check the social networks of your municipalities and join the activities that seem more interesting.

Regards and see you next week!

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