Moving towards Carbon Neutrality – Solar panels in a hospital

Ximena Pacheco

CEO of Vozandes Hospital Quito

Climate change is a challenge for society as a whole and the health sector has the potential to raise awareness and call for action. Along these lines, Hospital Vozandes Quito is the first hospital to be moving towards Carbon Neutrality, recognising that health and environment are two sides of the same coin.

The global organisation Health Care Without Harm estimated that the sector’s carbon footprint is equivalent to 4.4% of global net emissions. Without climate action, emissions from the health sector will triple to more than 6 gigatonnes per year by 2050, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of 770 coal-fired power plants, or the consumption of more than 2.7 billion barrels of oil each year. This is why HVQ is transforming itself and this year activated all its alarms against environmental pollution.

We would like to tell you about some of the 2022 actions we have taken in sustainability:

– We have the results of the study of the baseline calculation of emissions of gases derived from fossil fuels that generate the greenhouse effect, with the audit carried out together with SICMA, with this result we will be able to define the action plan for the next 3 years.- We have received recognition from Green Hospitals for:
o Recognition of the commitment and monitoring of the carbon and energy footprint.
o Recognition for commitment to monitoring the environmental footprint in waste and energy.
o Recognition of the commitment to monitoring the environmental footprint in water and energy.

– This December 2022 we inaugurate our installation of the first migration of energy sources to solar panels in certain hospital areas with the support of the German company Viessmann, who have been our partners in this process.

Working with solar panels in an organisation makes it possible to establish, reduce and evaluate the pollution effects of the activities of a product or service. In order to contribute to the reduction of climate change. In this context, one of HVQ’s plans started to become a reality and that is the installation of a solar water heating system. This project is expected to be completed before the end of 2022. The aim is to reduce the carbon footprint of our hospital by reducing the use of diesel fuel which is currently used in the boilers to heat the water for the showers used by the patients. The system to be installed consists of solar panels, water storage tanks, heat pumps (which are used when weather conditions do not allow heating by the action of solar radiation), software with an interactive graph of the operation of the system. Thanks to all this, the HVQ aims to halve the diesel consumption currently used by the HVQ.

Below are photographs of the solar panels project with Ximena Pacheco CEO of Hospital Vozandes Quito and Carlos Albornoz, head of administration at HVQ.

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