Potential for industrial ecology to support healthcare sustainability: Scoping review of a fragmented literature and conceptual framework for future research

Alexander Cimprich, Jair Santillán-Saldivar, Cassandra Lee Thiel, Guido Sonnemann, Steven B. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Healthcare is a critical service sector with a sizable environmental footprint from both direct activities and the indirect emissions of related products and infrastructure. As in all other sectors, the “inside-out” environmental impacts of healthcare (e.g., from greenhouse gas emissions, smog-forming emissions, and acidifying emissions) are harmful to public health. The environmental footprint of healthcare is subject to upward pressure from several factors, including the expansion of healthcare services in developing economies, global population growth, and aging demographics. These factors are compounded by the deployment of increasingly sophisticated medical procedures, equipment, and technologies that are energy- and resource-intensive. From an “outside-in” perspective, on the other hand, healthcare systems are increasingly susceptible to the effects of climate change, limited resource access, and other external influences. We conducted a comprehensive scoping review of the existing literature on environmental issues and other sustainability aspects in healthcare, based on a representative sample from over 1,700 articles published between 1987 and 2017. To guide our review of this fragmented literature, and to build a conceptual foundation for future research, we developed an industrial ecology framework for healthcare sustainability. Our framework conceptualizes the healthcare sector as comprising “foreground systems” of healthcare service delivery that are dependent on “background product systems.” By mapping the existing literature onto our framework, we highlight largely untapped opportunities for the industrial ecology community to use “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches to build an evidence base for healthcare sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

industrial ecology
conceptual framework
health care
ecology
sustainability
demographic aging
tertiary sector
resources
population growth
environmental impact
climate change
public health
footprint
infrastructure
energy
economy
literature
bottom-up approach
service sector
smog

Keywords

  • healthcare sector
  • healthcare sustainability
  • industrial ecology
  • literature review
  • medical activities
  • scoping review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Potential for industrial ecology to support healthcare sustainability : Scoping review of a fragmented literature and conceptual framework for future research. / Cimprich, Alexander; Santillán-Saldivar, Jair; Thiel, Cassandra Lee; Sonnemann, Guido; Young, Steven B.

In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{990c2dca5a27455a986d33bb4357ed4a,
title = "Potential for industrial ecology to support healthcare sustainability: Scoping review of a fragmented literature and conceptual framework for future research",
abstract = "Healthcare is a critical service sector with a sizable environmental footprint from both direct activities and the indirect emissions of related products and infrastructure. As in all other sectors, the “inside-out” environmental impacts of healthcare (e.g., from greenhouse gas emissions, smog-forming emissions, and acidifying emissions) are harmful to public health. The environmental footprint of healthcare is subject to upward pressure from several factors, including the expansion of healthcare services in developing economies, global population growth, and aging demographics. These factors are compounded by the deployment of increasingly sophisticated medical procedures, equipment, and technologies that are energy- and resource-intensive. From an “outside-in” perspective, on the other hand, healthcare systems are increasingly susceptible to the effects of climate change, limited resource access, and other external influences. We conducted a comprehensive scoping review of the existing literature on environmental issues and other sustainability aspects in healthcare, based on a representative sample from over 1,700 articles published between 1987 and 2017. To guide our review of this fragmented literature, and to build a conceptual foundation for future research, we developed an industrial ecology framework for healthcare sustainability. Our framework conceptualizes the healthcare sector as comprising “foreground systems” of healthcare service delivery that are dependent on “background product systems.” By mapping the existing literature onto our framework, we highlight largely untapped opportunities for the industrial ecology community to use “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches to build an evidence base for healthcare sustainability.",
keywords = "healthcare sector, healthcare sustainability, industrial ecology, literature review, medical activities, scoping review",
author = "Alexander Cimprich and Jair Santill{\'a}n-Saldivar and Thiel, {Cassandra Lee} and Guido Sonnemann and Young, {Steven B.}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/jiec.12921",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Industrial Ecology",
issn = "1088-1980",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Potential for industrial ecology to support healthcare sustainability

T2 - Scoping review of a fragmented literature and conceptual framework for future research

AU - Cimprich, Alexander

AU - Santillán-Saldivar, Jair

AU - Thiel, Cassandra Lee

AU - Sonnemann, Guido

AU - Young, Steven B.

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Healthcare is a critical service sector with a sizable environmental footprint from both direct activities and the indirect emissions of related products and infrastructure. As in all other sectors, the “inside-out” environmental impacts of healthcare (e.g., from greenhouse gas emissions, smog-forming emissions, and acidifying emissions) are harmful to public health. The environmental footprint of healthcare is subject to upward pressure from several factors, including the expansion of healthcare services in developing economies, global population growth, and aging demographics. These factors are compounded by the deployment of increasingly sophisticated medical procedures, equipment, and technologies that are energy- and resource-intensive. From an “outside-in” perspective, on the other hand, healthcare systems are increasingly susceptible to the effects of climate change, limited resource access, and other external influences. We conducted a comprehensive scoping review of the existing literature on environmental issues and other sustainability aspects in healthcare, based on a representative sample from over 1,700 articles published between 1987 and 2017. To guide our review of this fragmented literature, and to build a conceptual foundation for future research, we developed an industrial ecology framework for healthcare sustainability. Our framework conceptualizes the healthcare sector as comprising “foreground systems” of healthcare service delivery that are dependent on “background product systems.” By mapping the existing literature onto our framework, we highlight largely untapped opportunities for the industrial ecology community to use “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches to build an evidence base for healthcare sustainability.

AB - Healthcare is a critical service sector with a sizable environmental footprint from both direct activities and the indirect emissions of related products and infrastructure. As in all other sectors, the “inside-out” environmental impacts of healthcare (e.g., from greenhouse gas emissions, smog-forming emissions, and acidifying emissions) are harmful to public health. The environmental footprint of healthcare is subject to upward pressure from several factors, including the expansion of healthcare services in developing economies, global population growth, and aging demographics. These factors are compounded by the deployment of increasingly sophisticated medical procedures, equipment, and technologies that are energy- and resource-intensive. From an “outside-in” perspective, on the other hand, healthcare systems are increasingly susceptible to the effects of climate change, limited resource access, and other external influences. We conducted a comprehensive scoping review of the existing literature on environmental issues and other sustainability aspects in healthcare, based on a representative sample from over 1,700 articles published between 1987 and 2017. To guide our review of this fragmented literature, and to build a conceptual foundation for future research, we developed an industrial ecology framework for healthcare sustainability. Our framework conceptualizes the healthcare sector as comprising “foreground systems” of healthcare service delivery that are dependent on “background product systems.” By mapping the existing literature onto our framework, we highlight largely untapped opportunities for the industrial ecology community to use “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches to build an evidence base for healthcare sustainability.

KW - healthcare sector

KW - healthcare sustainability

KW - industrial ecology

KW - literature review

KW - medical activities

KW - scoping review

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85066072571&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85066072571&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/jiec.12921

DO - 10.1111/jiec.12921

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85066072571

JO - Journal of Industrial Ecology

JF - Journal of Industrial Ecology

SN - 1088-1980

ER -