Quantifying the Carbon Footprint of a Multi-specialist Hospital in Ghana

  • Sheila Opoku Adjei University of Ghana
Keywords: Climate change, Greenhouse gases emissions, Environment, Carbon footprint, Climate-smart healthcare


A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community. Research undertaken indicates the global carbon footprint of the healthcare sector is estimated at 2 gigatons of CO2e which is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gases produced by 514 coal power plants and if the global healthcare sector was a country, it would have been the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. This supports the need to mitigate emissions from the healthcare sector in each country. In the healthcare sector, there has been a slow acceptance to take responsibility and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced as a result of healthcare activities. This study quantified the carbon footprint of a multi-specialist hospital in Ghana and identified how the hospital can reduce its adverse impacts on the environment including achieving carbon neutrality. The total emissions from both direct and indirect sources of CO2e quantified based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol accounting standards, resulted in 465.79 tonnes of CO2e for the year 2021. Regarding the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions from the hospital, the study revealed electricity consumption, generation of electricity from the backup power plant and the hospital fleet of vehicles as the sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The electricity consumption from the national grid contributed the most to emissions at 57% from the hospital’s operations followed by the generation of electricity from an onsite power plant at 39%, dieselpowered vehicles at 3% and petrol-powered vehicles contributing 1% of the total GHG emissions of the hospital.

Author Biography

Sheila Opoku Adjei, University of Ghana

Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Studies