Greening Health Care program’s 10th Annual Forum on June 12-13, 2019 at the Montecassino Conference Centre and Peel Memorial Centre was a resounding success. On day one, more than 50 attendees took in presentations and listened to panel discussions which featured the latest performance data, new thinking and best practices in clean energy and environmental performance for the healthcare sector. Dr Fiona Miller, a Professor of Health Policy who holds the Chair in Health Management Strategies in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, provided the morning’s keynote. Dr Miller’s address set the context for all of our efforts towards mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change on new patient needs, changing service delivery models and the overarching imperative to tackle emissions associated with every aspect of hospital operations. The always-popular Executive Panel was moderated by Anne-Marie Malek, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Park Healthcare Centre in Toronto.
Here are just a few highlights from the day’s broad-ranging discussions:
- Ventilation systems have the single greatest impact on hospital energy consumption and costs. The case studies presented at the forum highlighted approaches to scheduling, testing, re-balancing, re-programming, upgrading, and the impact of smart controls. Hospitals must take a systematic approach to ventilation system enhancements, to maximize their cost savings and environmental improvements.
- The days of big central steam plants are numbered… the future is in heat recovery chillers and hot water systems.
- With its substantial investment in new hospitals over the past decade, Ontario now has world-class knowledge and best practices in energy and environmental performance at healthcare facilities. Greening Health Care provided an update to its 2018 white paper on energy and water performance at 17 new hospitals.
- Making the business case for sustainability: There is a compelling business case for hospitals to invest in saving energy and reducing utility costs, while also fulfilling social obligations to protect the environment. Many hospitals are reducing operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions by focusing on high-potential retrofits and operational improvements in their facilities.
- Most hospitals are not getting full value out of their building automation systems (BAS). Upgrading BAS functionality, smart programming and full integration of the user interface, trend logs and reporting into day to day operations, maintenance and management of hospital facilities leads directly to high performance.
The event concluded with recognition for hospitals demonstrating savings and leadership over the past year. Eight hospitals won 5% Club Awards for lowering their energy use by at least five percent since their baseline year. Winning hospital organizations included William Osler Health System, Sinai Health System, Niagara Health System, Humber River Hospital, and Alberta Health Services. The Leadership Award for demonstrating outstanding energy and water performance and overall environmental vision was won by Grand River Hospital. More about their hard work can be found on the program site.
The second day of the forum featured a tour of the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness in Brampton, which is setting a new hospital standard for high performance. Attendees saw the hospital’s low-carbon built environment in action and learned about the rationale behind the hospital’s commitment to a leading-edge approach to its new facility. They also heard the business case for the geothermal system, including the practicalities and challenges of design, installation and ongoing operations.