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Responding to the spread of coronavirus – Message from our Managing Director

How can energy strategies help enable a sustainable business model

90% of healthcare providers agree that there are opportunities for energy strategies to help enable a sustainable business model

Both environmental and financial sustainability are high on the agenda of healthcare providers. Growing demand for services, the squeeze on margins, government policies and patient concerns are all turning up the pressure to implement strategies that deliver a viable, long-term future.

But how can you simultaneously reduce carbon emissions, lower energy costs and generate new revenue streams to invest in frontline patient care? Can an energy strategy really enable you to improve both environmental and financial sustainability?

We think so, and 90% of healthcare respondents we surveyed agreed1. We believe that taking advantage of new technologies and implementing modern energy strategies are now essential for achieving a more sustainable healthcare future.

Environmental and business sustainability

As the healthcare market becomes more competitive, protecting your reputation means demonstrating a strong environmental profile. In research by Centrica Business Solutions, 54% of healthcare respondents felt that the link between sustainable energy use and brand image/company values was very important1.

In the face of regulatory targets, many hospitals have made public commitments to carbon reduction targets. The percentage of US hospitals that have a written plan to address climate change mitigation nearly doubled in the three years to 20172.

But sustainability in healthcare encompasses more than just environmental performance. With funding shortfalls seemingly entrenched, you now face the additional challenge of ensuring you have a sustainable business model.

The way forward

The way forward lies in taking advantage of low-carbon technologies and supply-side incentives. Many healthcare facilities have underutilized real estate (including roof spaces) that could be used for renewable energy generation.

For sites with mixed energy requirements, onsite power production through cogeneration (combined heat and power/CHP) or trigeneration (CHP integrated with absorption chillers) can deliver significant benefits.

Onsite generation technologies such as solar and CHP also enable the generation of new income streams by selling excess capacity back to the grid – turning unused space into a productive asset.

From obstacles to opportunities

Despite the potential for significant savings, many healthcare providers are still not taking advantage of new, more efficient generation technologies – in large part because of a lack of knowledge, or a perception that they lack the necessary capital or skills. Indeed, 70% of healthcare respondents agreed that that they need both commercial and technical expertise to help realise new opportunities relating to energy1.

But with today’s flexible funding models and the option to outsource energy management to specialist providers, these obstacles can be overcome.

Our Perspectives Series article enables you to find out more about how you can harness the potential of energy to build a sustainable future. From low-carbon technologies to efficient energy approaches, we highlight the options available to you and set out the energy strategies we believe you should prioritize to enable a more sustainable business model.

Learn more about our approach for healthcare providers.

1Energy Advantage Research, Centrica Business Solutions. Statistics based on a six country survey of more than 1,000 energy decision-makers in large organizations, 2Sustainability Benchmark Report, Practice Greenhealth, 2017