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St. Michael’s awarded Green Hospital of the Year

Toronto, June 13, 2017

By Skaidra Puodziunas

St. Michael’s staff participate in the 20-Minute Makeover
St. Michael’s staff, including How-Yune Chong, director of Engineering and Plant Services, participate in the City of Toronto’s annual 20-Minute Makeover in June. (Photo by Katie Cooper)

St. Michael’s Hospital has won the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care Green Hospital of the Year award for 2016, outranking 54 other organizations in 12 areas of environmental activity, with a focus on energy, water and waste conservation.

Using a balanced scorecard method, hospital participants were ranked against their peers in groups determined by building size and number of beds.

“The work to earn this recognition didn’t happen overnight,” said How-Yune Chong, director of Engineering and Plant Services. “Many years of staff-led, grassroots environmental advocacy efforts have helped to shape a culture of environmental awareness. This momentum has added up and changed corporate practices and policies.”

These green practices include sustainable water, energy and toxins management and corporate policies automating two-sided printing.

St. Michael’s scored well in waste management, in part because of efforts to make it easy.

   
Did you know?
Designs for the new Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower include a number of elements to target LEED Gold certification, which measures sustainable construction practices:
  • Water efficient fixtures and fittings with low flow rates, targeting 30 per cent less water use than conventional fixtures
  • Using refrigerants with low global warming potential
  • Sourcing materials like concrete and rebar regionally
  • Using efficient lighting
  • Installing high performance windows

“We excelled compared to our peers in green bin management,” said Heather Fletcher, director of Support Services. “We have sorting stations in most areas food is prepared and served, making it easy for staff and visitors to compost.”

In addition, instead of having to sort by paper, plastic and cans, all recycling material can go into the same bins to keep it simple for visitors and staff.

The hospital was also recognized for its efforts to recycle 100 per cent of batteries and light bulbs, and more than 50 per cent of ink cartridges and scrap metal.

“While environmental action is an ongoing process, I think it will remain a priority at St. Michael’s because it’s a reflection of our mission and values, particularly our commitment to social responsibility,” said Fletcher.

“We’re incredibly honoured by this recognition. It feels like winning the Oscar for green health care,” said Chong.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Center, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.