By Ramon Syyap
St. Michael’s Hospital and Providence Healthcare have been recognized nationally for their commitment to being environmentally conscious and green organizations.
Named as top performers among 14 non-acute and 32 academic sites from across Canada, the two sites have been awarded the Green Hospital of the Year Award 2017. Providence was also the winner of the Energy Efficiency Award 2017.
The Green Hospital Scorecard (GHS) is the comprehensive health care benchmarking tool in Canada that measures energy conservation, water conservation, waste management and recycling, corporate commitment and pollution prevention. In 2017, there were 110 participating sites from across Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia as well as North Carolina in America.
At Providence, a dedicated Green Team was assembled and the appointment of an executive champion accountable for the hospital’s overall environmental strategy continue to guide a philosophy that is pushing for more energy efficient practices. Updates to boiler plant controls and retrofits to lighting throughout the campus are among the projects on the horizon for 2018 and beyond.
“Monthly energy meetings give us an opportunity to analyze and verify energy consumption data, and ensure that we’re on track with our goals,” says Providence building services and security manager Craig MacDonald. “Our environmental strategies are important to us and so is taking care of the community that we’re a part of.”
At St. Michael’s, the creation of the Green Team in 2009 was a grassroots approach and challenged its stakeholders to actively reduce waste and save energy through the implementation of greening initiatives. In the last five years it has incorporated a greening philosophy into the renewal of building infrastructure, using capital funding to increase sustainability and achieve energy savings.
“Every little bit counts. Each individual’s contributions make a difference across the entire organization. This award highlights the positive contributions of everyone's efforts,” says Katelyn Poyntz, manager of project engineering at St. Michael's in response to the accomplishment.
As new technologies emerge, ensuring that services and infrastructure at all sites across the network continue to meet and exceed standards will prove to be an ongoing commitment. However, the recent alignment is allowing the entire network to leverage knowledge and spread initiatives with the potential to positively affect communities across Toronto.