Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) is the proud recipient of two 2017 Ontario Green Health Care Awards in the small hospital category, having been recognized with both the Green Hospital of the Year Award and the Waste Award during a virtual awards ceremony hosted by the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care on June 26, 2018.
Award recipients were determined by selecting the top performing facilities from the 2017 Green Hospital Scorecard, which is managed by the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care. KDH won the Green Hospital of the Year Award for achieving a top overall score in the 2017 Green Hospital Scorecard, and received the Waste Award for achieving a top waste score.
The hospital is in esteemed company: the other 2017 Green Hospital of the Year Award recipients were Toronto-area facilities St. Michael’s Hospital, Michael Garron Hospital, and Providence Healthcare. In the Waste Award category, the top performers in the larger facility categories (non-acute, community, and academic) were Trillium Health Partners – Queensway Health Centre, Toronto, South Muskoka Memorial Hospital (Bracebridge), and St. Joseph’s Health Care London – Parkwood Institute.
The Green Hospital Scorecard shows a hospital’s environmental performance in five areas: Energy, Water, Waste, Pollution Prevention, and Corporate Leadership. It helps identify potential areas for improvement and informs target-setting, while offering the opportunity to be recognized through annual Gold, Silver and Bronze level achievements. KDH’s 2017 results also earned the hospital a Silver Seal in the Green Hospital Scorecard for the second year running.
KDH’s Manager of Building Services and Environmental Program Lead, Tammy Buehlow, attributes the organization’s outstanding results to a corporate commitment to sustainability, with a focus on waste reduction. “We are extremely proud of our waste reduction results, especially a decrease of 16.5 tonnes of general non-hazardous waste between 2015 and 2016,” she said.
KDH’s waste diversion efforts include donating unused medical supplies and equipment to non-profit organizations that ship them to war-torn countries such as Syria. The hospital also donates old linens and towels to the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, rather than sending them to landfill.
The hospital’s action plan, with clear targets on waste, water and energy consumption, also led to reductions in total electricity and natural gas consumption from 2016 to 2015 of 3.9% and 3.3%, respectively. KDH’s sustainability efforts revolve around three pillars: recycling, conservation, and education. In addition to training all staff on the environmental program and empowering them to contribute and participate, the hospital works with local students, including a group from École catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys in nearby Merrickville, who presented displays about the importance of recycling at KDH on April 23, and shared their Earth Day message: “Don’t throw away our future.”
A total of 110 hospital sites completed the 2017 Green Hospital Scorecard survey, which reports on data from the 2016 calendar year. Frank J. Vassallo, KDH’s Chief Executive Officer, acknowledged that it took the entire KDH team working together to achieve these award-winning results for environmental performance. “Congratulations to everybody at KDH for doing their part to make our hospital more sustainable,” he said.
“I firmly believe that as a community leader, KDH has a responsibility to minimize its ecological impact,” he added, “and I thank each and every one of you for taking our environmental mission statement to heart: ‘a demonstrated commitment from within to operate in an environmentally responsible manner today, for a better tomorrow’.”
For more information about the 2017 Ontario Green Health Care Awards, please see http://greenhealthcare.ca/ghs.