HEALTH – Cross-border Information Turntable: Energy and Resource Efficiency in the Health Sector

Large hospitals often use as much energy as smaller towns. Investigations have shown that  even by investing only small amounts, about 40% of the energy costs could be saved. The large amount of one-way articles in the medical sector represents a lot of waste which is often wrongly disposed of and at costs that are definitely too high.

The target of the "Health" project is to set up a cross-border information turntable in order to enforce energy and resource efficiency at hospitals in the Austrian/Hungarian border region.  This objective will be achieved through an exchange of experiences, benchmarking, benchlearning, training and a transfer of knowledge between the participating hospitals.

Within the scope of this project, three Austrian and three Hungarian hospitals are inspected in the area of knowledge and quality management, energy management, resource management, and specific proposals are prepared for improvements to be carried out. The project results are published by being distributed through various activities to all institutions of the health sector such as geriatric centres, convalescing institutes, ambulance etc.  

Project module

The "Health" project runs from October 2009 to September 2012. During this period the following project modules will be looked at:

  • Knowledge and Quality Management: By harmonising and also by improving the quality of training and further training within the health-oriented jobs, already existing resources will be concentrated and thus reinforced sustainably cross-border.

  • Energy: It is aimed at uncovering energy-efficiency potential that already exists in hospitals without having to jeopardise the currently expected care quality. The question is followed up, by what technical and organisational measures the end energy and CO2 emissions can be reduced and also the amortisation time established for the various different measures.

  • Resource Management: Measures and concepts for avoiding waste are being prepared aiming at reducing hazardous and non-hazardous hospital waste, as well as reducing drinking water consumption and increasing residual waste.

  • Know-how Transfer & Communication: The project results will be distributed internally (within the hospital) as well as externally (outside of hospitals) as best as possible by means of high-quality communication and dissemination channels.

Expected project results

The Austrian Energy Agency is significantly involved in the energy module. Within the scope of this project module, the Otto Wagner Spital, the Hietzing Hospital and the Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung are examined by the Austrian Energy Agency and the Resource Management Agency.

During the first stage, the current energy consumption of the various plant components (ventilators, lighting, cooling machines, medical appliances etc.) in the three hospitals is established by having meetings with the technical heads and technicians, by checking available plant data as well as by carrying out energy audits.  To this end, specific reference objects at the hospitals are selected for detailed investigation in accordance with the technical directors and heads of departments. Thus obtaining a database which enables them to draw conclusions about the current distribution of the energy consumption in these hospitals.

During the second stage, the potential of reducing energy and CO2 emissions at the three hospitals is established. To this end, a weighted catalogue of measures is being prepared, which will show possible energy-efficiency measures as well as thus resulting energy and CO2 savings at the Vienna hospitals under inspection.

Within the scope of the project, a manual will be prepared for the project modules knowledge and quality management, energy and resource management, in order to offer further institutes the possibility to implement the findings realised by the project. This manual will show the project background, present selected examples for best practice as well as demonstrate the path from collecting data to implementing the results comprehensively and traceably.

The methodical approach of the "Health" project is based on the ÖNORM EN 16001 "Energy Management Systems", whose aim it is to support organisations to set up systems and processes for improving their energy efficiency. Thus, it is warranted that, if required, hospitals can achieve a relevant certification with relatively low cost efforts. Finally, the whole point is that by implementing an energy management system in hospitals, the costs and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced long term by maintaining the quality of care at the same time.

Project Dates
ClientEuropean Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
Project ManagerGeorg Trnka
Project TeamManuel Mitterndorfer
Günter Simader
Project PartnerKRAGES - Burgenländische Krankenanstalten Ges.m.b.H – Lead Partner
KAGes Steiermärkische Krankenanstalten Gesellschaft m.b.H.
Soproni Erzsébet Oktató Kórház
Ressourcen Management Agentur
Vas Megyei Markusovszky Kórház Nonprofit Zrt.
Zala Megyei Kórház
Duration10/2009 – 12/2012