My City-Lab Talk Series
A Greener Health: How to foster environmental sustainability in healthcare
Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 17.30 – 19.00
Metrolab Brussels (Quai du Commerce, 48 1000 Brussels)
The purpose of this informal debate is to offer a real and dynamic discussion among key stakeholders and policymakers on how to foster on sustainability in healthcare sector and which approach can reduce environmental footprints, from digital management for efficient use of resources, designing ‘greener’ buildings, to primary care settings to reduce hospital admissions and costs.
As the third largest employer worldwide and a major consumer of resources, healthcare has the potential to make a significant impact on European sustainability strategies. Taken as a whole, health sector consumes a large amount of energy and resources and produces major streams of emissions and waste. Healthcare is the only sectors generating all existing classes of waste, with 20% being dangerous, infectious, toxic or radioactive in nature. Furthermore, the healthcare sector is itself a major energy user. A European hospital consumes on average 300 Kw of thermal and over 100 Kw, of electrical energy per square meter per hour, accounting for 5% of CO2 emissions. Therefore, reducing hospital admissions is not only critical for human health but also for environmental and financial costs.
Healthcare settings have a major role to play in reducing environmental impact by using their resources more efficiently, designing ‘greener’ buildings, and fostering primary care. However, environmental actions to tackle climate change and reduce healthcare impact shall not affect the quality of care, the safety of patients and healthcare workforce, while keeping down the cost and the waste of resources.
My City-Labs project – financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – aims to create 2 new primary care structures, called City-Labs, integrating the innovation of laboratory medicine and mobile health. The scope of the project is to facilitate access to laboratory tests as part of an integrated and collaborative approach to ambulatory care of a chronically ill individual, as well as to contribute to the dynamic monitoring of patients with chronic diseases.
Metrolab Brussels (MLB) is a trans-disciplinary and inter-university laboratory for applied and critical urban research, funded by the Brussels Capital Region through its ERDF program (2014-2020). The action of MLB consists in the design, implementation and coordination of a dozen of research projects, all directed towards a single public policy, the ERDF-Brussels program. Urban ecology is one of the topics covered by the project, a key element for city’s growth and citizens’ wellbeing.