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In 2014, the HUG generated greenhouse gas emissions of around 117,000 tonnes of CO2eq. The impact of this on the environment is equivalent to the consumption of a city of over 10,000 residents. In order to reduce this footprint, the hospitals strive every single day to increase their energy efficiency and promote renewable energy. To achieve this goal, the HUG have signed the éco21 Ambition Négawatt action plan charter, set up by SIG (Geneva Industrial Services).
The institution's aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% compared to 2009 and to increase energy efficiency by 8% between now and 2020. To do this, it is particularly attentive to the performance of buildings it operates.
Since 2013, Geneva University Hospitals have made significant efforts to reduce their electricity consumption. Building lighting, both inside and out, has been looked at in great detail. Of the 80,000 light fixtures installed across the HUG, 6100 are now equipped with LED technology, which also improves the quality of lighting. Half of these were replaced as a result of the energy performance contract with SIG - the first contract of its kind in Switzerland signed by a hospital. This collaboration alone has generated savings of 450,000 kWh, which is equivalent to the consumption of about 120 households. In addition, the majority of areas with lower footfall, as well as those undergoing renovations, have been equipped with motion detectors. At the present time, all of the electrical power consumed each year by the HUG - i.e. 49,764,729 kWh - is renewable.
60 tonnes of CO2-ÉQ
this is the annual reduction in greenhouse gases thanks to solar installations at the new hospital building
The HUG have also been conducting a project with the EPFL (research institute/university in Lausanne) that will model the energy consumption of the main Cluse-Roseraie site. The results will help to determine the hospital's strategy in the medium and long term, especially with regards to certain development projects underway in the canton, like GeniLac®. They will also be useful to the European research project CI-NERGY (Marie-Curie), which aims to develop methods for decision support in urban energy planning and which is using the Canton of Geneva as a case study.
Geneva University Hospitals are the best equipped hospital establishments in Geneva when it comes to solar power. The Bellerive and Trois-Chêne sites, plus one building at Cluse-Roseraie and another at Belle-Idée, are equipped with solar panels. These installations, covering a total surface area of 1400 sqm, are capable of producing 230,000 kWh per year, which corresponds to the consumption of 58 households.
But the institution intends to take things further. The new hospital building, currently under construction, will have a high-temperature thermal solar system. The system will generate steam at 140°, which will be used to sterilise medical equipment. The 216 solar collectors, spread over a surface area of 530 sqm, will produce approximately 300,000 kWh per year, which will cover between 10 and 15% of energy requirements for the sterilisation of hospital. At present, all of the thermal energy consumed annually by the HUG - i.e. 91,203,509 kWh - is covered by natural gas, whose CO2 emissions are fully offset.
The HUG want to limit the environmental footprint of their work. They are therefore committed to controlling their consumption of natural resources, and pay particular attention to their waste production.
Paper is the consumable used the most by administrative services. Efforts have been made across the institution to rationalise consumption, which in 2015 amounted to 36,940,250 sheets. Printers have been configured to print on both sides by default,and awareness campaigns have been carried out among employees to encourage them to change their habits.
These measures helped to save 339,750 sheets in one year. The aim is to achieve a 5% reduction in five years. All paper purchased by the institution is also now recycled, and certified FSC, PEFC or carries the European Ecolabel.