Hospitals require significant resources including energy, water, and materials in order to operate effectively. Finding ways to efficiently use these resources helps hospitals to keep operating costs low and divert financial resources to patient care. Cornwall Community Hospital is committed to finding practices, processes and technologies that are innovative, efficient and sustainable over the long-term. As part of its commitment Cornwall Community Hospital established a Green Team in 2008 and began to look at ways it could become more sustainable in how it uses its resources.
The following are examples of Cornwall Community Hospital’s efforts to become more sustainable:
Hospitals consume large amounts of energy because of how they are run and the many people that use them. They are open 24 hours a day; hundreds of employees, patients, and visitors occupy the buildings daily; and sophisticated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems control the temperatures and air flow. In addition, many energy intensive activities occur in these buildings: laundry, medical and lab equipment use, sterilization, computer and server use, food service, and refrigeration.
Beginning in 2013, all hospitals In Ontario are required to report on their energy consumption. They are also required to develop an energy conservation management plan to identify and commit to reducing energy use in their facilities by July 1, 2014. As part of these requirements all hospitals must post their energy consumption data on their website for the public to view. Here is the latest report on CCH's energy consumption as well as our strategic five-year energy conservation plan.
The following table represents the 2011 energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for CCH. In 2011, CCH generated 3,446 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (see figure 1). In 2012, CCH generated 3,598 tonnes, a 4% increase from 2011 (Figure 2).
Figure 1: CCH Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data
Figure 2: CCH 2012 Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data
Energy management ensures that energy use and costs are as low as possible while maintaining high standards of comfort, service and productivity. The various benefits associated with improving energy management include the following:
Cornwall Community Hospital has submitted a 5 Year Energy Management Plan to the province in 2014, and a 5 year Conservation and Demand Management Plan in 2019
The hospital recently conducted a kitchen waste audit and discovered it was putting between 150 and 250 lbs. of food waste in the garbage each day. That translates into spending approximately $6,000 a year on transporting food waste to the dump. Cornwall Community Hospital decided to install food-composting machines in 2012. The food cycler gets rid of 90 per cent of the waste and the remaining 10 per cent is used as fertilizer. Using it, the hospital keeps at least 40 metric tonnes of food waste out of local landfills, which is good for the environment. Once the initial cost of the machine has been paid, the Hospital will be saving money and the environment. This is a “win”, “win” initiative that shows how innovative thinking can deal with reducing common operating costs that hospitals face.
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Cornwall Community Hospital is located on the traditional lands of the Akwesasne Mohawks and their ancestors. We are forever grateful to those who had been on these lands before us and through their stewardship and connection to the land, have made it what it is now. Read our full Land Acknowledgement here.
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