Carbon mitigation, patient choice and cost reduction - triple bottom line optimisation for health care planning

Darshini Ramasubbu's picture


Resource Description: 

Resource Description:

Duane et al. “Carbon mitigation, patient choice and cost reduction – triple bottom line optimisation for health care planning” Public Health 2014 Oct;128(10):920–4



Health services must provide safe, affordable clinical care whilst meeting efficiency, environmental and social targets. These targets include achieving reduced greenhouse gas emissions. A care pathway approach based on a decision-support tool can simultaneously reconfigure health services, improve productivity and reduce carbon emissions.


Probabilistic modelling using secondary data analysis.


Estimates of carbon emitted by a health service drew on a previous carbon accounting study which integrated bottom-up assessment of carbon emissions with top-down analysis of indirect emissions by Duane et al. (2012).(1) Using human resource information, estimates were applied in a decision-support model to measure the carbon footprint and service provision of theoretical scenarios. Using this model, sites with less than 60% utilisation were theoretically reconfigured to reduce carbon emissions and improve service provision.


Clinic utilisation rates improved from 50% to 78%. Human resource savings were identified which could be re-directed towards improving patient care. Patient travel for health care was halved resulting in significant savings in carbon emissions.


The proposed model is an effective health care service analysis tool, ensuring optimal utilisation of health care sites and human resources with the lowest carbon footprint.

Available from:

Publication date: 

June, 2018

Resource type: 

  • case study
  • educational materials


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