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Global Climate Impact from Hospital Cooling

Global Climate Impact from Hospital Cooling

Cooling is crucial for health. Thermal regulation minimizes heat stress and improves mental function and sleep. Refrigeration prevents spoilage of food, medicines, vaccines, and blood. Unsurprisingly, hospitals have a large demand for cooling for both patients and medical products. Given that hospitals’ cooling demand requires large amounts of energy consumption, hospitals are also responsible for large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, representing a significant percentage of healthcare’s climate impact.

With increased attention to providing better and more health care and associated increases in spending (particularly in middle income countries), and absent efforts to improve efficiency and/or decarbonize the power grid, the climate impact of hospital cooling is expected to rise, particularly in a warming world.

While there have been select country estimates, there have been no global estimates for the climate impacts of hospital cooling, until now. This brief and the underlying approach estimates the collective climate impact of hospital cooling globally.

Published October 25, 2018



Clean Cooling Collaborative

Health Care Without Harm

Hovland Consulting