Sustainable Practices for Your Clinic: Energy

Welcome back to our series on sustainable practices for your clinic! When you work towards sustainability at your medical clinic, hospital, or private practice, everyone can benefit from the results. It might seem challenging to change things up, which is completely understandable. After all, if something has been working for years, what’s the point in changing it?

The thing is, the way we’ve been going about energy consumption has not been working. Our practices with energy and our planet’s resources were providing us with short-term fixes, but never solutions. We see the repercussions of how we’ve lived and treated this world in the ecosystem, in the atmosphere, and even in our own lives. A world that’s more environmentally friendly is a world with healthier people, and for those working in the medical field, this has never been more relevant.

Last time we talked about recycling, and in this segment, we’re going to focus on some of the energy practices you can promote and implement in your medical clinic. These are practices that might seem overwhelming (either due to massive changes, upfront costs, or both), but can make a significant difference in your clinic, as well as your world. Learn about some of the ways in which energy consumption can be improved in your clinic, and work with our manufacturers to get the best in eco-friendly sonogram gel!

Energy Conservation

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the less energy we use, the better. Every time our hospitals flip on a light switch or start up an X-ray machine, we’re using energy. The majority of the time, our energy comes from nonrenewable sources, such as coal and natural gas. These need to be excavated and/or extracted from the earth, which disrupts and disturbs the environment.

These resources are also called nonrenewable for a reason. There’s an expiration date for the nonrenewable sources on our planet, simply because it takes millions upon millions of years for the earth to create the fossil fuels that we utilize today.

Not to mention, simply trying to process and obtain nonrenewable resources ends up using more in the process. Ultimately, we want to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels as much as possible, and your medical clinic can make a significant difference.

Your Environment

By using fewer resources, we absolutely help conserve the ecosystem and our planet as a whole. Yet when your hospital or medical clinic switches to renewable resources, you can help make a difference in the environment, the atmosphere, air quality, and even the health of your patients. At Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, their Morgan Stanley Clinical Building made it a point to be as environmentally friendly as possible. An article by Healthcare Administration Degree Programs explained that their measures included “a ‘reversible’ under-floor heating system that can heat or cool the hospital and a generator,” as well as a waste heat recovery system.

Fewer carbon dioxide emissions means reduced damage to the ozone layer and improved air quality, which in turn can impact our health for the better. The result of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s environmental practices? It’s estimated that this building alone will lessen their carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 tons a year.

Your Clinic

When Johnston Memorial Hospital in Virginia switched to energy-efficient practices — such as using FSC-certified wood, water-saving fixtures, and motion-sensing lights, to name a few — they reduced water usage by up to 40 percent, and saved on power and energy bills by 17 percent. When Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto went towards an eco-friendly form of shuttle bus transport, composting, and other sustainable practices, they’re projected to save $2.6 million a year, as well as reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10,000 tons each year.

Energy-efficient practices are often costly upfront, but these costs can lead to enormous savings — for both your clinic’s budget and the environment as a whole.

Taking Action

Many of the above examples were part of initiatives that cost millions of dollars — an absolutely worthwhile investment, but not something that can be done immediately for many hospitals and medical clinics. Fortunately, there are many things you can do that won’t set you back in the here and now.

Paint Purposefully

Take a lesson from Boulder Community Foothills Hospital in Colorado, a hospital that decided to paint its roof white. This simple step is a great way to reflect heat and lower air conditioning costs in the warmer months. Indoors, utilize eco-friendly paint to lessen your carbon footprint.

Commute Conservatively

If your clinic employs a lot of people and has a relatively large campus, investing in some type of eco-friendly shuttle program, like Sunnybrook did in Toronto, can be a great way to reduce emissions and conserve energy. If that step is too big for you right now, incentivize employees coming to work in an eco-friendly way. Set up a raffle, provide bus or subway passes, provide an extra day of PTO — however you go about it, this can be a great way to help encourage energy conservation.

Choose EcoVue

EcoVue by HR Pharmaceuticals is a sonogram gel that was designed to be sustainable. In every aspect of our product, from manufacturing to distribution, we have energy conservation and environmentally friendly practices in mind. With our FlexPac® design, our sonogram gel uses less packaging, meaning we can fit more of it into a space when transporting. This design and measure alone reduces the CO2 emissions that come from transportation by 96,000 lbs., compared to the methods of other ultrasound conductive gel distributors.

Simply by switching to our environmentally friendly sonogram gel, you are making a positive impact on the planet. Not to mention, our product and packaging means our sonogram gel lasts longer, which saves your medical clinic or hospital money and time. When you choose EcoVue®, you’ll get a product that exceeds expectations, in every aspect imaginable. Make the switch to our sonogram gel today — your budget and your planet will thank you for it.