I’m tickled green to let everyone know that UHN has been nominated for the Ontario Hospital Association’s 2014 Green Hospital of the Year Award.  Thing is, the winner will be determined by a vote, with employees of Ontario hospitals being able to cast their ballot by clicking here (and scrolling down to the bottom of the webpage) until October 3, 2014.

eHealth fc8e2f7c-MEDIUM-25027178-cropThat’s where you come in.

You see, Energy & Environment is a small department…it’s really you, the good people of UHN, who take the time to make UHN the green place it is.  From waste, to energy, to local food, to reducing use of nasty chemicals…you do it all…but just in case you need a bit of encouragement, I give you…

Lots and Lots O’ Reasons You Should Pat Yourself on Your Back and Vote for UHN To Be Green Hospital of The Year

(or vote right now by clicking here)

  • UHN’s recycling rate has almost doubled in ten years, from 24% in 2004 to 43% in 2013.
  • Over those past ten years, UHNers have kept a whopping 35.7 million pounds of waste out of landfill…that’s equivalent to over 2 billion free range anchovy fillets.
  • That’s a lot of anchovies.  It’s also meant that UHN saved over $1.3 million through recycling throughout those ten years.
  • Over the past four years, your use of the re-usable sharps containers has kept over 400,000 pounds of plastic out of the landfill – that’s only 23 million free range anchovy fillets, but still pretty good eatin’.
  • UHN has over 5 million square feet of floor space…that’s about the size of three Toronto Eaton Centres, but without a single Orange Julius.  And for a number of years, most of your 5 million square feet, if not all of them, have been cleaned with third party eco-certified products…just some of the many green cleaning and maintenance products Support Services uses at UHN every day.
  • Over the past couple of years thousands of inefficient light bulbs have been replaced with LEDs…so many that I’m thinking about launching a Kickstarter campaign to change Energy & Environment’s name to “Get the LEDs Out”.  On second thought, maybe not.
  • You give a FLICK, you really do – which is one reason why we’re well on our way to achieving our goal of reducing UHN’s utility costs by $2.3 million per year…which buys a lot of free range anchovies.
  • UHN has a green procurement policy, which specifies environmental things to think about when purchasing goods and services.  But a policy isn’t worth the FSC certified paper it’s printed on unless there are people who help make it reality – and you’ve done just that dozens of times, from cleaning products to transportation contracts to little doohickeys that I would have no idea how to use or pronounce.
  • It would take about 12 million litres of water to provide the prerequisite eight glasses of fresh drinking goodness to each UHNnik for a year.  Over the past couple of years, UHN has reduced its water use by around 100 million litres per year…I’m definitely raising a glass to that!
  • UHN has been incorporating elements of sustainable design into its construction projects for years and years…from energy efficiency, to low odour paints to adequate space for good waste management.  And now we have KDT, our very own LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver candidate.
  • Thousands of UHNonians have gone up and beyond their day jobs to do all of the above…and over 680 of you have volunteered to go even upper and beyonder your day jobs, and joined UHN’s Green Team to help bring the hospital’s greening initiatives to your department.

There’s more…way more.  Much more than I have room for here.  So go ahead, give yourself a green pat on the back…you deserve it.