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Green Design Solutions For The Operating Room

By Janet Brown

In 2009, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a report showing that the American healthcare sector accounts for nearly one-tenth of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions, the largest contributor to global climate change of any industry sector. According to Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the Operating Room Initiative, the operating room generates approximately 42 percent of a hospital’s revenue—but it’s also responsible for between 20 and 30 percent of a facility’s total waste. Thanks to required air exchanges, detailed lighting and equipment needs, and a cool environment necessary for surgeons, the OR is a significant contributor to a facility’s environmental footprint and, consequently, is an area ripe for improvement.

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