In fact, it was one of the things I talked about earlier this month when I gave the "Intermountain 2017" community update to an audience of caregivers, community leaders, educators, legislators, and others who have an interest in ensuring we have great healthcare in Utah and beyond.
Earth Day (officially April 22) is a celebratory reminder of our obligations to the planet — and we'll celebrate the environment all week long at Intermountain. Of course, we'll continue to do our part as an organization to improve the environment for as long as we exist.
Five ways Intermountain shows respect for our planet through sustainable actions:
- Facility planning and development. Intermountain has 14 facilities that are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified with 8 new facilities being designed to meet LEED certification requirements. LEED certified buildings use less water and electricity and reduce greenhouse emissions. Buildings can receive one of four certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Of the 14, 3 are certified, 8 are silver, and 3 are gold. Intermountain also has five facilities that are Energy Star Certified — meaning these buildings earned a score of 75 percent or higher on national measures.
- Community Sustainability. Intermountain now has five LiVe Well community gardens. These gardens, located on our campuses in Park City, Orem, Fillmore, Wasatch Canyons, and the Salt Lake Clinic are open to the public and provide a way for patients and families to connect with nature. Along with these five, Intermountain has four more community gardens planned at TOSH, Riverton, Utah Valley, and Dixie.
- Water conservation. We reduced our water usage by 8.8 million gallons in 2015. We're also using water efficient landscaping in all of our new projects and we are expanding our new water treatment process to more facilities.
- LED Lighting. With LED lighting upgrade conversions in both LDS Hospital and Riverton Hospital, Intermountain saves 2.2 million kWh a year. This simple change alone saves Intermountain over $217,000 a year.
- Recycling. Since launching a single stream recycling program in 2011, Intermountain has gone from a rate of 11 percent of our total waste recycled to 27 percent in 2016. That's 6.9 million pounds of waste removed from our garbage dumps. Our new reusable sharps container can be used up to 600 times before needing to be replaced — eliminating over 244,000 pounds from our landfills. And at the end of 2017, we'll have reduced 300,000 pounds of food waste as well.