Top 10 Sustainable Hospitals

Balfour Hospital, Fakeeh University, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Singapore General, Kaiser Permanente & More are our Top 10 Sustainable Hospitals

Healthcare professionals are aware of how damaging their everyday activities can be on the environment. When a busy hospital emits heavy emissions to care for patients, this causes air pollution which can make people sick.

It is clear that when the environment is threatened, the local community suffers too. That’s why hospitals around the world are taking responsibility with sustainable initiatives to protect the planet and their patients.

From the Balfour Hospital and its net-zero standard to Johns Hopkins Hospital’s promotion of telework to ease staff commuting.

These Top 10 sustainable hospitals are leading the way in healthcare sustainability.

Sunnybrook

10. Sunnybrook

Canada

Sunnybrook is an affiliated teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. Its vision is to invent the future of healthcare, with sustainable practices at the core, serving 1.3m patients each year. 

The centre says these improvements will save up to CAN$2.6m and reduce emissions by more than 8,000 metric tonnes each year. Sunnybrook is also dedicated to caring for Canada's war heroes at its Veterans Centre.

The Ethianum

9. The Ethianum

Germany

The Ethianum specialises in plastic surgery, aesthetic surgery and preventive medicine. It has partnered with Siemens to develop sustainable energy management.

"A major concern for us, particularly also with regard to ecological aspects, was to act responsibly and develop a clinic that sets standards in healthcare in terms of sustainability," said Director Dr. Peter Görlich. "Thanks to the solutions from Siemens we don't just reduce our energy requirements to a minimum."

University of California, San Francisco Medical Center

8. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center 

The UCSF School of Medicine was founded in 1864 and was home to various students who went on to become Nobel laureates, including J. Michael Bishop and Harold Varmus discovered that normal cellular genes can be converted to cancer genes, while Shinya Yamanaka, worked on cell development.

The hospital has recently partnered with its neighbour, the Chinese Hospital, in an agreement to support the sustainable growth and quality of healthcare in its community. 

Kaiser Permanente

7. Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is carbon neutral and runs on renewable energy, which Former Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson has said is the obvious solution in protecting the health of the people that the hospital serves.

“One of the most effective ways to protect the health of the more than 68mn people in the communities we serve is by ensuring healthy environmental conditions,” said Bernard J. Tyson, then-Chairman and CEO. “By investing in renewable energy and becoming carbon neutral, Kaiser Permanente is helping to prevent climate-related illness.”

Singapore General Hospital

6. Singapore General Hospital

Singapore General Hospital (SGH) is dedicated to innovative translational and clinical research. The hospital has a vision to be the first net-zero carbon emission healthcare campus in Asia. The Singapore General Hospital has started with the Green Corridor, which has organised green initiatives, such as recycling and up-cycling bins.

“Individually, the changes we make may be quite small,” said Wendy Phng, Senior Operations Executive. “But I have been trying to persuade everyone to do their bit.”

Grønnköpingkið University Hospital

5. Grønnköpingkið University Hospital

Sweden

Grønnköpingkið (pronounced ‘Gron-sher-pinky’) is a digital hospital which showcases sustainable healthcare solutions, from Nordic countries. These include raw materials to ensure compliance with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and glass wool in its acoustic absorbers made from recycled glass.

In 2025, the Grønnköpingkið University Hospital will open, offering ‘the greenest solutions available for healthcare’, many of which are already in use at Nordic hospitals, in categories such as Energy Solutions, Waste Solutions, Architecture & Construction, Innovation Arena and Indoor Climate, all of which aim for energy efficiency, waste reduction and sustainable procurement.

Johns Hopkins Hospital

4. Johns Hopkins Hospital

The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore specialises in gynaecology, neurology and neurosurgery and is widely regarded as one of the best hospitals in the world. 

In terms of sustainability, new buildings are constructed to utilise natural lighting to lower the need for electric lights and a telework network pairs up staff to travel together.

LevelTen Energy, a US-based startup enables organisations to purchase renewable energy, recently announced it was working with the Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation to help the organisation tackle its carbon emissions.

Cleveland Clinic

3. Cleveland Clinic

USA

The Cleveland Clinic has eight regional hospitals, 16 family health centres and a children's hospital. It has 28 sustainability teams and three committees which work hard to uplift sustainability efforts across their facilities, for example, in measuring and managing their environmental impacts, as well as developing sustainability strategies.

“The mission of Cleveland Clinic embodies hope and possibility,” CEO Dr. Tom Mihaljevic said. “I am optimistic about the future, because we apply what makes us great across our global system, along with our people.”

Fakeeh University Hospital

2. Fakeeh University Hospital

Dubai

Fakeeh University Hospital is dedicated to supporting patients and their families, while boosting their sustainability policies. These range from implementing waste reduction and recycling programmes to minimise healthcare waste, all the way to utilising Smart Building Automation systems in lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning to improve energy efficiency to promoting public health awareness.

The hospital has also joined the Terra Carta and has been awarded Gold LEED certification for its efforts. 

“At Fakeeh University Hospital, we are committed to a future that is more sustainable and puts nature, people and the planet first,” said CEO Dr. Fatih Mehmet Gül. “As sustainability and healthcare go hand-in-hand, we are honoured to be one of the first UAE hospitals to be involved in the Terra Carta initiative. Together, we are making positive progress in moving towards a more sustainable future while providing the best possible care for our patients.”

Balfour hospital

1. Balfour hospital

Scotland

Despite offering just 49 beds, the £65m Balfour hospital was built to a net-zero standard and pays tribute to Skara Brae, a famous local Neolithic settlement. The electric building uses air-to-water heat pumps which generate hot water and heating, while solar panels on the roof offer additional support.

"We can produce the hot water needs and offset some of the electrical needs by using Orkney's natural resources, even at low temperatures we can produce heat and hot water which will help to keep all the patients comfortable during their stay here," explains Paul Bradley, the hospital's maintenance team leader.

Under the leadership of NHS Orkney, Balfour hospital sources local food for  the hospital's restaurant

runs a fleet of electric vehicles and is transforming the green spaces outside of the hospital to be used for the benefit of staff, patients and their families.

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