A Greener Health System
Years ago, “going green” probably meant we were serving lime Jello® in the cafeteria. Now, it means a lot more at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and around the world.
Some of the changes Methodist is making to conserve the earth’s resources are big – like working towards LEED certification for our new construction projects. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and it’s a certification given by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Women’s and Children’s Pavilion at Methodist Germantown, the new Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the Methodist Hospice Residence are all expected to become LEED certified.
Some of the changes to conserve may seem small, but altogether, we’re making a big impact. We are paying attention to how we use the earth’s resources, and are constantly looking for ways to reduce waste, re-use materials, recycle packaging and renew resources. We care not only about the health of our generation but are planning to responsibly care for generations to come.
Reduce Styrofoam Cup Use
We challenged our 10,000 Associates to stop or decrease use of Styrofoam cups in their work areas, which is not an easy feat for nurses and others who are constantly on the run. In lieu of the disposable cups, Associates were encouraged to bring in their own drink cups and mugs from home. While we’re still working on our goal to reduce overall usage by 50%, we’re getting pretty close. By December of 2009, we used 30% fewer cups, which resulted in a 40% expense reduction and most importantly, a 46% reduction of volume to landfill.
More 2009 Sustainability Accomplishments
Sustainability means that a business or organization is wisely using its human resources, financial resources and environmental resources. It means we are working to conserve and guard these resources as best we can. The aim is to meet current needs and make sure there are enough resources left for future generations to live, work and raise their families. Last year we were able to meet these goals:
- 120 tons of cardboard recycled
- Sustainability Steering Committee and facility Green Teams formed at all of our facilities
- Environmental Services began using less toxic cleaning solutions
- Operating rooms collected and donated 4,241 lbs. of medical supplies for medical mission teams
- Methodist Germantown submitted its application for green building certification for our new Women’s & Children’s Pavilion (LEED)
- Departments begin using more paperless formats
- oneList goes live – An internal “Craigslist” for Associates to sell, share or giveaway home items
2010 Sustainability Goals
- Cut office paper orders by at least 10%
- Recycle at least 500 tons of cardboard
- Decrease our waste streams or redirect to recycling
- Increase bottle & can recycling; continue cell phone recycling
- Expand oneList to include supplies and equipment for Methodist departments to share/use
- Continue challenge to cut foam cups 50%
- Continue LEED/green building construction (Le Bonheur and Methodist Hospice Residence)
- Raise awareness through expanded reporting of utility expenses, paper and foam cup orders and spending, cardboard recycled by each facility.