Apr 21, 2022 | Faces of HDGH
Launched in 2018, The HDGH Green Initiatives Program puts into action our hospital’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the overall reduction of our operational environmental footprint. In this blog, Environmental Services Supervisor Jason Schneider shares 5 Impactful Planet Friendly Projects at HDGH.
Canadians generate 3.25 million tons of plastic waste each year! That’s 140,000 garbage trucks of plastic waste! To reduce our dependency on single-use plastics, HDGH has sought out vendors who supply plastic alternatives. We have substituted: compostable drinking cups for our patients instead of Styrofoam, plastic straws now supplied only upon request, and installing a water refill station to promote reusable water containers.
One of our water refill station has already eliminated over 52,000 plastic water bottles in just over 2 years!!! HDGH is proud to boast we are removing approximately 25,000 plastic water bottles per year from our waste stream!
Over the past few years, HDGH has significantly bolstered our existing recycling program by identifying additional materials that can be recycled beyond the traditional paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum items. HDGH is now successfully diverting high-density plastics, batteries, toner, electronics, light bulbs, and even the blue procedure masks we wear every day!
In late 2019, we introduced composting of organic food waste into the Green Initiatives Program. This project captures all organic food waste from leftover patient meals, food scraps from our retail cafeterias, and some of the client and staff kitchens and breakrooms across our campus. Since the launch, HDGH has diverted over 100 tons of organic waste from our community landfills and removed over 240 tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions from our atmosphere! Lastly, this organic waste has created over 67 tons of high-quality, nutrient rich compost.
Hats off to our Environmental Services and Food Services departments for their ongoing efforts in making our composting program a success!
The Plant Operations and Maintenance Department has made significant strides in reducing our environmental footprint regarding the physical operations of our campus. Recent and ongoing upgrades to our infrastructure (energy efficient lighting, new chiller system, etc.) will reduce our CO2 emissions by an estimated 324 tons, or 8.5% of the total site greenhouse gas emissions per year. When combining these reductions with those from our composting program, HDGH has removed over 560 tons of GHG from our atmosphere, which is the equivalent of 180 cars removed from our local roads!
HDGH is now a member of the Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare – a community of hospitals leading the way in ecofriendly and environmentally sustainable best practices. A benefit of this partnership is the Green Hospital Scorecard (GHS) system. The GHS is an annual report which captures all of our environmental sustainability projects, compares our progress to previous years, and to other post-acute hospitals of similar size. All of our actions as individuals within the organization, beneficial to the environment or not, are captured in the scorecard and make a contribution to our sustainability goals.
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