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New database looks to reduce healthcare’s ‘5% of global emissions’

Dalhousie University and Brighton and Sussex Medical School have developed a major new resource which will make it easier for medical trusts to make carbon-friendly decisions. 

The HealthcareLCA database is billed as an ‘up-to-date evidence repository, bringing together new and existing assessments into one publicly accessible location’.

Simply put, the program contains more than 4,000 environmental impact values of over 1,400 healthcare products and procedures, ranging from equipment and procurement, to pharmaceuticals, investigations, and overall systems, all of which can be easily sorted, filtered and searched by users.

Currently, the planet’s combined healthcare systems and services account for around 5% of total greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and the climate crisis over the long term, and air pollution in the immediate. Strategies like Net Zero will be unachievable without major overhaul of how the sector functions with a focus on bringing down resulting pollutants.

‘HealthcareLCA creates an opportunity for health professionals to learn more about the environmental impacts of healthcare, providing accessible and easy-to-understand evidence for administrators and decision-makers,’ said Dr Chantelle Rizan, senior author of the programme and Clinical Lecturer in Sustainable Healthcare at BSMS. ‘It will also help researchers find existing studies, identify important research gaps, and create new possibilities for synthesising the available evidence.’

Take a closer look at the database, which has been developed through a partnership between CASCADES (Creating a Sustainable Canadian Healthcare System in a Climate Crisis), BSMS, and the Creating Sustainable Health Systems in a Climate Crisis flagship project at Dalhousie University’s Healthy Populations Institute (co-led by Dr Daniel Rainham and Dr. Sean Christie). Sign up for an interactive introduction to the software here.

Understanding carbon footprints, emissions, and overall environmental impact is vital for all industries. Last month, we reported on Ecologi Zero, a tool that analyses any given supply chain and allocates an emissions score, identifying where improvements can be made. Free for SMEs to use, find out more about how this works here

Image: HealthcareLCA

 

 

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