Hospitals Can Cut Carbon Footprint and Save Money

July 5, 2011

Practical strategies can lower a hospital's carbon footprint and save money while still ensuring patient safety, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Basic steps include reducing and segregating operating room waste, reprocessing single-use devices, making green purchasing choices, managing energy consumption, and managing pharmacy waste.

Simply focusing on separating waste correctly could decrease the volume of medical waste by more than 30%, says study leader Martin Makary, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins. Often, regular trash ends up in bags designated for infectious waste for the sake of convenience. This drives up disposal costs because biological waste costs more to process.

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