Every once in a while someone will ask something like, “How does a department like Energy & Environment, with its 3.5 staff, do all the environmental things it does for a 14,000 staff hospital spread over 8-ish locations”?

The simple answer is that…we don’t.

Doing some quick math…if Energy & Environment spoke to everyone at UHN for a mere 30 seconds (you know, kinda like, “pleaserecycleandturnoffthelightsandrideyourbikethanksgottago”), it would take over two work weeks to chat to everyone. And if we arm-curled all the waste we recycled each day, 20 pounds at a time, we’d be doing 500 reps a day…and boy would we be cut!

As much fun as this sounds (and boy, would we be cut), it’s just not sustainable. So instead, Energy & Environment works as enablers, inspiration and supporters to the many, many people who want to help Green UHN.

We’re the ones auditing our new-ish pharmaceutical waste program and ironing out the kinks, as our recently-back-to-school Waste Ambassador Kyle did over the last couple of months. We’re the ones developing posters for that unique department that really, really wants to spread the recycling word, as our ever-creative Energy Steward Lisa does on an almost weekly, and sometimes daily, basis. We’re the ones reviewing the gazillion construction projects we have going on here to make sure that that they’re as energy efficient as possible, as our ever-efficient Embedded Energy Manager Songyang does each and every day.  We’re the ones crunching the numbers for the Environmental Services Managers to show just how much money our recycling program saves us, as our statistics-geek Manager of Energy & Environment, me, does once a month or so.

And we’re the ones taking all those great greening ideas that people come up with and helping become reality…because, really, that’s the only way to make sustainability sustainable…