​In recognition of Providence Health Care’s commitment to environmental stewardship and greening internal health care practices we’ve received this year’s Green Health Care Award for ‘Energy – Canada Wide’ in the Academic peer group from the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care.

These awards are based on the Green Hospital Scorecard data from 2021, which is a comprehensive health care benchmarking tool that measures energy and water conservation, waste management and recycling, corporate commitment and pollution prevention. Participating hospitals report on their environmental and sustainability initiatives through an online questionnaire and the resulting Scorecard summarizes their environmental performance relative to their peers.

What work led to this win?

Towards the end of 2019 a Heat Recovery Chiller system (similar to the technology we told you about earlier this year) was installed at St. Paul’s Hospital—an innovative system that extracts waste heat that would otherwise be lost to atmosphere, and uses it to heat the building and produce domestic hot water.

The Facilities team also installed a booster pump with a variable frequency drive (VFD) system (aka a system that helps save on energy and maintenance costs for water pumps by allowing the water to adjust its speed and flow to match the water flow needs of the building without damaging the motor or using extra electricity). ​

And the above two upgrades, when coupled with the transition of many lights at SPH to LED—a highly energy-efficient lighting technology—resulted in improved energy efficiency at SPH and the award recognition!

Why St. Paul’s Hospital? 

Although in the coming years St. Paul’s Hospital will be relocated, Mehrdad Gharibnavaz, Energy Manager with the Facilities Management team shares:

“SPH is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of all the PHC sites, representing more than 70 per cent of PHC’s total GHG’s. So although the hospital will be relocated, it is very important that we still work now to implement GHG reduction projects at the current site.”

Mehrdad adds the team is being strategic in their efforts keeping in mind the timeline for the new hospital.

“We are focusing on projects that have a less than five year payback period. This means that with any of the improvements we invest in at SPH, we will see the investment paid off quickly (within five years) before the hospital is relocated. Moreover, since the building is very old (around 100 years!) many of the utility and piping systems are past their useful life and need to be replaced anyway, we take this opportunity to bring in new and more efficient technology which comply with the lower GHG reduction strategy.”

This was a collaborative effort

All three of the projects that led to this recognition were made possible through funding partnerships with FortisBC, BC Hydro and CleanBC.

When asked what this recognition means to him and the rest of the Facilities team, Mehrdad says:

“It really helps to demonstrate how effective a few smaller scale efficiency improvements can be when implemented at an older site like St. Paul’s Hospital.”

And there’s still more improvements on the way.

“We have several other projects in energy conservation, with quick payback timelines, being implemented now which will further reduce the GHG emissions at SPH.”

It’s exciting times for sustainability at PHC!

We’re in good company

BC was well represented across the categories of the Green Health Care Awards, with our colleagues across health organizations recognized as well. To learn more, read this story published by the GreenCare team​. ​