The Green Healthare Programme has identified many best practice options for the Irish healthcare sector in relation to resource efficiency and cost savings. This is, of course, in addition to the direct advice and assistance given to all the participating hospitals within the programme.

On this page, we provide some useful resources for the healthcare sector, based on the best practice Benchmarks, Case Studies, Best Practice Guides, How To Guides, and Factsheets we have produced as well as other materials from elsewhere.

To download an overview of the Green Healthcare Programme, the work that has been done and the main findings, click here.



The Green Healthcare Programme has issued a set of new benchmarks for hospital waste. These are based on three years analysis of 99 detailed waste surveys carried out by the project team in the 30 participating hospitals.

The benchmarks include both risk and non-risk waste. Risk waste is clinical waste sent for sterilisation and for incineration. Non-risk waste includes general or domestic waste, recyclable waste and segregated food waste.

The benchmarks show the total waste generated per in-patient bed day in kg. They also show the breakdown of this total (7.7kg for acute hospitals, and 3.7 kg for primary community continuing care (PCCC) facilities) into the four streams: Healthcare risk waste, Food waste, Mixed recyclables, General landfill waste.

These benchmarks are a very worthwhile tool that allows a healthcare facility to identify if they produce more or less waste than the average GHCP facility. If a hospital greatly exceeds these benchmarks, it may need to consider the reasons for this and implement improvement options.

Click here to download a graphic showing the benchmark.


The Green Healthcare Programme has developed three Case Studies to support  hospitals in Ireland in becoming more resource efficient.

These case studies show some examples of best practice in specific Irish Hospitals, the results of such best practice (in terms of waste reduction and cost savings) and how others can achieve such results.

Further case studies are in production.

The Case Studies published thus far include (click to download):

Case Study Cork University Hospital: Maximising recycling and minimising healthcare risk waste in the theatre

Case Study St. Vincent’s Private Hospital: Clinical Waste Reduction in Isolation Rooms and other areas

Case Study Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore: Minimising Healthcare Risk Waste Reduction and Maximising Recycling in Theatre

Case Study Mayo General Hospital: Food Waste Prevention in Mayo General Hospital


The Green Healthcare Programme has developed three best practice guides outlining how best Irish hospitals can reduce: risk waste across their whole facilities; risk waste in theatres; and food waste.

These best practice guides provide detailed advice and assistance to hospitals in how to implement resource efficiency best practice using a step-by-step approach, describing the main issues of concern, the sources of the waste streams, the cost relating to risk and food waste disposal, and giving tips and hints in how to overcome obstacles.

These guides are (click to download):

Best Practice Guide on Healthcare Risk Waste Reduction

Best Practice Guide on Healthcare Risk Waste Reduction in Theatre

Best Practice Guide on Food Waste Reduction

Best Practice on Maximising Recycling and Reducing Landfill

Best Practice on Bin Placement


The Green Healthcare Programme has produced three How To Guides, showing hospital staff how they can carry out waste prevention and resource efficiency activities themselves.

The Guides give guidance on how a hospital or healthcare facility can set up a waste prevention/resource efficiency programme; how-to carry out a total hospital food waste assessment; and how-to undertake a detailed food waste survey of plated waste only. The guides give a step-by-step approach to all the required activities, providing clear advice on how to save money and resources.

These guides are (click to download):

How-To Set Up a Waste Prevention and Improvement Programme

How-To Set Up a Waste Prevention and Improvement Programme – Benchmarks & Savings Worksheet (Acute hospital)

How-To Set Up a Waste Prevention and Improvement Programme – Benchmarks & Savings Worksheet (PCCC facility)

How-To Assess Overall Food Waste

How-To Undertake a Detailed Food Waste Survey – Plated System

How-To Undertake a Detailed Food Waste Survey – Bulk System

How-To Undertake a Detailed Food Waste Survey – food waste calculator

How-To Undertake a Detailed Waste Survey

How-To Undertake a Detailed Waste Survey – weight record sheet

How-To Undertake a Detailed Waste Survey – waste composition sheet

How-To Undertake a Detailed Waste Survey – waste composition calculation calculator


The Green Healthcare Programme (GHCP) has produced three Factsheets: on Healthcare Risk Waste, General Landfill Waste and Food Waste in Irish Hospitals.

These Factsheets are of great benefit to hospitals in Ireland and, if used correctly, could lead to significant efficiencies and financial savings across the healthcare system.

The Factsheets provide an outline of the different waste types generated in Irish hospitals, giving detailed information on the sources of each stream. They outline the cost of waste for Irish hospitals, how it can be reduced and what materials can be recovered or disposed of more cheaply.

Click to download:

Factsheet on Healthcare Risk Waste

Factsheet on General Landfill Waste

Factsheet on Food Waste in Irish Hospitals




External Sources of information on Resource Efficiency in the Healthcare Sector


Sustainability Energy Agency of Ireland (SEAI) Energy Efficiency Website for the Health Services

Centre for the Analysis and Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy Technologies (Netherlands) Saving energy with Energy Efficiency in Hospitals

EPTA Ltd. (Greece) Guidelines for Energy Efficiency in Hostpitals

USAID ECO3 Project Energy Efficiency In Hospitals: Best Practice Guide

Energy Star US – Saving Water and Energy Efficiency in Hospitals


Magazine for Greening Hospitals Greenhealth Magazine

United Kingdom NHS Sustainable Development Unit

Unites States Environmental Protection Agency Partnership for Sustainable Healthcare

Practice Green Health Website for Environmental Solutions for the Healthcare Sector

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Reducing Medical Waste


Healthcare Environmental Resource Center Facilities Management—Water Conservation

Alliance for Water Efficiency Medical and Health Care Systems Introduction

USEPA Process Water Efficiency

Water UK Water Efficient Hospitals

South West Florida Water Management District Hospital Checklist

The Natural Edge Project (Australia) Water Savings in Hospitals

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority – Water Efficiency and Management for Hospitals


Environmental Health Unit (Victoria, Australia) Guidelines for Water Recycling in Health Facilities

Renal Business Today Making Dialysis Green – How an Australian Clinic Conserves Water and Power

Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (UK) Conserving Water in Haemodialysis: Case study and How-to Guide