We can do a lot to fix climate change over the next thirty years. What if we could spend that time saving a quarter of a million tonnes of carbon emissions from one hospital? What would that look like?

Imagine taking 52,000 cars off the road? Or planting over 4 million trees? Or building the Noventa WET system …

If you’ve never heard of a WET system before, you’re not alone. The key thing to understand is that it will help one of our hospitals and research towers to With that, we at Talkin’ Trash are thrilled to turn it over to Larissa Cahute with the UHN news story: UHN reducing emissions with huge new wastewater energy system

Toronto Western Hospital (TWH) and Krembil Discovery Tower will soon be home to the world’s largest raw wastewater energy transfer (WET) system, reducing the site’s carbon emissions by a quarter of a million tonnes over the next 30 years.

Renewable energy company Noventa Energy, the Government of Canada, City of Toronto, UHN and Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB), were part of a virtual event Friday announcing the project.

The WET System will use thermal energy from wastewater flowing through a nearby municipal sewer to supply up to 90 percent of the campus’ heating and cooling needs, significantly reducing use of existing electric and natural gas systems. As a result, the site’s direct greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by about 10,000 metric tonnes each year – more than 60 per cent of UHN’s overall direct emissions and the equivalent of removing 1,811 cars from the road.

“We know climate change is a major threat to health. This technology will allow us to lower greenhouse gas emissions and make our hospitals more resilient, while supporting our commitment to delivering A Healthier World.”

Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President & CEO

Noventa CEO Dennis Fotinos said WET systems like the one at TWH can “help us meet our climate change commitments.” Construction is slated to begin in September.

“This project is a testament to what we can do if we are prepared to challenge convention and reimagine energy to build a more sustainable future for all,” he said.

More than 300 energy projects over the past decade

According to Ron Swail, UHN’s Vice President of Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations, the project is a “natural fit” for the organization.

“We have a strong culture of sustainability, thanks to the tremendous efforts of our Energy & Environment Department, who have helped us become a top energy performer among our peers,” he said. “Over the past decade, the team has completed more than 300 energy projects, which has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent.

We’re excited to add the WET system to the roster.

Ron Swail, UHN Vice President of Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations

To read more, see the original story on UHN News: UHN reducing emissions with huge new wastewater energy system