Interdisciplinary Thesis Lab 2021-2022: Sustainable Hospitals


From February to July 2022, LDE Centre for Sustainability and Medical Delta joined forces in their mission to make healthcare more sustainable. As a result, the first Interdisciplinary Thesis Lab on Sustainable Hospitals was run. The findings of the lab have been made available in practical solutions for healthcare providers, scientists, doctors, patients, governments, companies, and citizens. 

We are proud to announce that Medical Delta and CfS will continue the Sustainable Hospitals Lab for a second time in 2022-2023. More about the Sustainable Hospital Lab 2022-2023.


The healthcare sector contributes to climate change and paradoxically, these climate changes themselves lead to more health problems. Seven percent of the total carbon footprint of the Netherlands is related to the healthcare sector. The operating room alone is responsible for approximately 20-30% of the hospital waste and pollution is increasing with the development of new technologies and materials. Moreover, with population aging, the demand for care will increase in the coming years, as will the costs of care.

A drastic change of healthcare is therefore required to limit its impact on our world. It is a very complex challenge since there are still a lot of knowledge gaps, and since multiple departments within a hospital - with different tasks, visions and needs – but also multiple external stakeholders must evolve and work together. Most importantly, patient safety cannot be compromised.

This challenge led to the Interdisciplinary thesis lab organized in 2021-2022 by the LDE-CfS and Medical Delta.

Case Holder and Team

Medical Delta 

Medical Delta brings together three renowned universities, two university medical centers, four universities of applied sciences, governments, companies, healthcare institutions and other parties in the province of Zuid-Holland. Together they work on 15 research programs and 10 Living Labs.



Discover our interdisciplinary team of 10 students from Leiden, Delft, an Erasmus university here:


Program and Guest Lectures

Click below for an overview of the program comprising in-depth lectures from external organisations, interesting workshops, and site visits.



Interdisciplinary result

Bringing together all the individual projects and different perspectives, the Sustainable Hospitals Lab aimed to also produce an overarching interdisciplinary result. Here we highlight this result, as well as some projects stemming from the lab which have sparked the interests of many. 

  • A common advice from the nine master students working in the lab. Click below for their presentation.


  • A Round Table "Interdisciplinair onderzoek naar duurzaamheid in de gezondheidszorg".
  • Photo-exhibition "It's an emergency" by participant Elaine van Ee. 
  • The results of the Lab are discussed into more detail in the Medical Delta Café 'Vergroening van ziekenhuizen'.

Thesis Results

The lab was structured around the question: How can we move towards an environmentally sustainable hospital?  This question formed the basis for individual thesis research projects. Each student created a poster reflecting their research and findings. Click the tiles below to find out more about their research.

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