Greenhouse Gas Management of Landscape and Similar Equipment

This category of emissions includes fossil fuel-powered equipment that is not related to transportation or building operations, but to other tasks performed by health care organization staff.

This can include equipment for landscape such as trimmers, mowers, etc. It can include small construction equipment owned and operated by the health care organization.  

If the equipment in this category is owned and operated by the health care organization (HCO), then emissions from this equipment is a Scope 1 emission. If the health care organization contracts these services — landscape, construction, etc. — then these emissions are part of Scope 3 services. 

How to measure and report:

For equipment in this category that is owned and used by contractors, HCOs will need to request greenhouse gas inventories from those entities. These emissions will then be included in the Scope 3 emissions for the organization. In most cases, these vendors are unlikely to be able (or willing) to provide this information, in which case, the emissions will need to reported using the dollar cost methodology.1  

For equipment in this category that is owned and used by the organization, HCOs will need to collect and include emissions data as part of their Scope 1 emissions. Here, the data will be mostly in the form of fuel purchases by the organization. This information could be combined with other fuel purchases or could be calculated separately. This information will generally be available from accounts payable. Generally, these purchases are likely to be managed by different parts of the organization, who may also have access to these records. HCOs have various ways to consolidate fuel purchasing to make record keeping easier.  

How to manage:  

Increasingly, battery-powered versions of this equipment are available and effective. The equipment is better for the hearing of the operator and exposes them to far fewer toxic fumes, so it is vastly superior for user safety.  

Some may balk at the use of battery-powered equipment on account of its weight and the need to replace batteries frequently in the midst of long-duration tasks. Also, facilities often don’t need to replace this kind of equipment in the near term, so electrification thereof will create added expense.  

However, the technology in this area continues to advance. Better and better equipment is constantly reaching the market, with both better battery life and lower weight and cost. Rather than rushing out to replace everything at once, health care organizations can put in place programs to replace all fossil-fueled equipment over time as it wears out. In the latter case, the HCO can adopt a final phase-out date to ensure a proper balance between financial resources, emerging technology and decarbonization goals.  

1 See US Environmental Protection Agency, GHG Emission Factors Hub, Heavy Construction Operations, available here.   

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