From the implementation of eco-friendly programs to reduce medical waste, enhance energy conservation and promote recycling practices, environmental sustainability at Texas Children’s touches all areas of operations within the hospital.
As the nation celebrates Earth Day next month, Texas Children’s Green Team is doing its part to reduce our organization’s environmental footprint. Over the last year, the Green Team has successfully engaged employees and staff around several collaborative initiatives to help Texas Children’s go green.
Below is a brief summary of some of these Green Team accomplishments:
Reduce medical waste – The conversion to reusable sharps containers at Main and West campuses in 2015 reduced medical waste by 15 percent. Since making the switch, the hospital has saved approximately 80,000 pounds of waste annually. Texas Children’s was spending $250,000 annually on traditional sharps containers plus disposal fees and now it expects to save $150,000 each year. The goal for 2016 is to reduce regulated medical waste by another 10 to 20 percent.
Maximize recycling – The Green Team installed more than 100 recycling bins at Main and West campuses in January 2016. Since the program’s implementation, 21,000 pounds of recyclable materials have been collected. These include aluminum cans, cardboard, non-confidential office paper, plastic bottles, newspapers, magazines and phone books. This year’s goals include standardizing office supplies to include more recycled options, optimizing the use of the toner recycle program and bolstering cardboard recycling education.
Save energy and reduce costs – Texas Children’s has reduced energy consumption by implementing a number of equipment upgrades while continually working with staff to build a culture of energy conservation system-wide.
- Installed LED lamps in all Pavilion for Women elevators
- Replaced 5,500 50-watt spot lamps with 7-watt LED lamps to reduce energy
- Reduced chilled water consumption for A/C use by 20 percent to optimize better temperature control throughout the buildings
- Reduced steam consumption by 25 percent by adjusting the heating water temperatures from 180 degrees Fahrenheit to 130 degrees Fahrenheit
- Turned off bridge lights when enough natural light is coming through
- Used the building automation system to turn off lighting and HVAC for unoccupied areas
- Renegotiated electricity contract resulting in a cost savings of $670,000
- Texas Children’s has saved more than $10 million in energy costs since 2008
Green transportation – In 2015, the Green Team unveiled Texas Children’s fleet of 12 shuttle buses equipped with an environmentally-friendly fueling system. Instead of using diesel, all shuttles are fueled by propane. Switching to this much cleaner-burning gas reduced our carbon footprint by 70 percent and makes Texas Children’s the first hospital in the Texas Medical Center to offer completely green-friendly shuttle service.
Save the date – Texas Children’s Earth Day Celebration
On Friday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Green Team will host two celebrations on Earth Day – one on The Auxiliary Bridge at Main Campus and one at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus.
Dozens of vendors will be available to provide eco-friendly, cost-saving tips to employees including how to become more energy efficient, tips on eating green, as well as ways to reduce waste and recycle more.
Two tree planting events are slated for Earth Day. West Campus President Chanda Cashen Chacón and Vice President Matt Schaefer will plant a tree at West Campus and Executive Vice President John Nickens will plant one at Main Campus thanks to the generous donations from Trees for Houston.
Stay tuned to Connect for more details about Texas Children’s Earth Day celebrations. Also, if you’d like to reach out to the Green Team with your green ideas, email email@example.com.