Leadership in environmental stewardship

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When it comes to environmental stewardship, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre helps set the pace for other health care facilities. Sunnybrook was recently the recipient of an incentive cheque in the amount of $52,988 for progress in the area of water conservation. The hospital was able to reduce water consumption by over 176,000 liters per day, enough water to provide service to 250 homes.

The water savings were the result of two projects completed by Plant Operations, and a third which was completed by Corporate Planning and Development as part of the Central Utility Plant upgrade. “These ‘green healthcare’ initiatives reduce our operating costs, help the environment, and provide an example to other health care providers, both within the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), and also within the province,” says Harry Taylor, director of Facilities Services at Sunnybrook and Co-Chair of the Energy & Environment Council of the Toronto Central LHIN. The recent water savings projects include:

A detailed survey and follow-up repair of nearly 2000 pieces of equipment, or, “steam traps” used on the miles of steam lines throughout the facility. Steam traps are used to keep steam dry by draining off condensed water, however, they can waste huge amounts of energy when not working properly.

Replacement of the hospital’s medical vacuum and medical air systems with a design that uses less water. Many of these systems use pumps that consume large amounts of water. The new units are of “dry” design thus completely eliminating any water loss.

Replacement of an old wooden cooling water tower in the Central Utility Plant with a new and much improved aluminum tower. The new tower will not only use less water, but is also much more energy efficient as well.

More reduction initiatives are being planned which will not only incorporate water use, but electricity and natural gas as well. Our recently acquired energy management partner is working closely with other facilities specialists to find and implement additional conservation measures to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible.

Sunnybrook has received a total of over $240,000 in incentives in the last two years for work in reducing the consumption of both water and natural gas, and there is much more to come on the energy and environmental front in the next few months.