DOI: 10.1002/ohn.603 ISSN: 0194-5998

Addressing Climate Health: A Practical Guide to Quantifying and Reducing Health Care‐Associated Emissions

Amanda E. Dilger, Jekaterina Shelley, Regan W. Bergmark, Jonathan E. Slutzman
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery



The objective was to quantify annual greenhouse gas emissions from a surgical specialty hospital and identify high‐yield areas to reduce emissions associated with patient care.

Study Design

Pre‐post study, greenhouse gas inventory.


Specialty hospital.


A scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas inventory of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear main campus for calendar years (CY) 2020, 2021, and 2022 was performed by assessing emissions attributable to on‐site sources (scope 1) and purchased electricity and steam (scope 2). The associated carbon dioxide equivalent was then calculated using known global warming potentials and emission factors.


The major contributors to scope 1 and scope 2 emissions at our institution for CY 2020 to 2022 were waste anesthetic gases and purchased steam. These results were reviewed with hospital leadership and a plan was developed to reduce these emissions. Emission monitoring is ongoing to assess the efficacy of these interventions.


Measuring scope 1 and scope 2 emissions at the facility level allows health care facilities to develop institution‐specific interventions and compare data across health care organizations. Surgeons can lead on health care system sustainability by collaborating with clinical and nonclinical staff to measure emissions, developing targeted emissions‐reduction interventions, and tracking progress with yearly assessments.

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