Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas (Dell Children’s) was the first hospital to achieve LEED Platinum certification – but they didn’t stop there. The hospital has continued to introduce internal programs to reduce its environmental impact.
Dell Children’s Continues ‘Green’ Stewardship
Annually, US medical waste creates an astounding 5.9 million tons of waste. State agencies regulate waste generated by healthcare facilities, but waste amounts are still on the rise and some can be considered hazardous. Organizations, like Practice Green Health, outline some of the specifics.
From 2010 to 2011, Dell Children’s reports reducing their landfill waste by 6% (718 to 676 tons) and their recycled material contribution by 50% (245 to 149 tons).
This year, the hospital is planning additional waste reduction initiatives. Dell Children’s recently:
- Converted to single-stream recycling,
- Began composting kitchen waste,
- Prepared education programs ,
- Improved signage to make recycling easier and more efficient,
- Began analyzing waste generated through the hospital’s operating rooms for recycling potential, and
- Reviewed food menu items for possible replacement of environmentally-friendly materials.
The hospital is currently building a third bed tower that will surpass the energy efficiency required by USGBC’s LEED Healthcare Rating System by 22 percent. The project includes a solar hot water system, solar photovoltaic panels, LED lighting and electric vehicle charging stations.
“Dell Children’s sustainability commitment goes well beyond our groundbreaking ‘green’ facility,” said Alan Bell, AIA LEED® AP, director design & construction Seton Network Facilities. “Efforts made to reduce landfill waste and encourage recycling reinforce the importance of good stewardship of our resources. What’s good for the environment and community is also good for our patients.”
As part of their education efforts, Dell Children’s has teamed with USGBC’s Central Texas Balcones Chapter to plan an expert panel discussion on the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) of healthcare, a set of metrics used to gauge how responsible medical facilities are with their projects. The TBL consists of three Ps:
- Patients – A measure in some shape or form of how socially responsible an organization has been throughout its operations
- Planet – A measure of how environmentally responsible it has been
- Profit – The traditional measure of corporate profit—the “bottom line” of the profit and loss
The event will be held at Dell Children’s and will include a tour of its facilities. Mark your calendars for September 18th and attend their event to learn more.
Also, there are sponsorships slots still available at this time. Please contact Chris Randazzo at 512.328.0011 or email him at email@example.com. He is on the Healthcare Event Coordinating Committee for USGBC’s Central Texas Balcones Chapter, and can help you with further information.
- Dell Children’s Continues ‘Green’ Stewardship
- US Environmental Protection Agency – Medical Waste Frequent Questions
- Practice Green Health website
- Wikipedia – Single-Stream Recycling
- The Economist – Triple Bottom Line