The annual Environmental Performance Accountability Report (EPAR), courtesy of the Energy and Environmental Sustainability (EES) team is now available.
In her Executive Message, Fiona Dalton, President and Chief Executive Officer shared:
Those of us working in health care over the last two years have seen firsthand how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped much of our landscape, both in our health system and society at large. It has been a time of great struggle, stress and loss. At the same time, catastrophic events of our climate reality have brought environmental health to the fore in health care and in the communities we serve. From atmospheric rivers to heat domes to wildfires to drought, no one in British Columbia has been left unscathed.
In the face of this climate emergency, Providence Health Care staff have continued to make a real difference, embracing and acting on our commitment to environmentally sound health care that will not simply help us to reduce the harm our activities cause to our environment and health, but allow us to build a truly healing system.
This report acknowledges the hard work, commitment, progress and success of everyone at Providence Health Care in their continuing efforts to achieve environmental sustainability in all facets of our health system. Although the report shows that at the moment we are not trending to meet all of the 2025 targets necessary to achieving a truly sustainable health system, there were sustainability milestones reached and staff initiatives started that are important to celebrate!
Here are some highlights from the report:
- The first ever Circular Health Care Framework was created to support departments at PHC to develop strategies to avoid and reduce waste.
- Environmental questions were used in annual pre-qualification for Facilities Management contractor services and in the disposable surgical packs, drapes and gowns requests for proposals.
- In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint by increasing energy efficiency and reducing reliance on fossil fuels:
- $217,000 was invested in energy efficiency initiatives from the Green Revolving Fund.
- Approximately $3.5 million was invested in carbon reduction projects including $1 million from CNCP funding.
- 21 infrastructure projects were implemented.
- 80 per cent reduction in GHG emissions at St. Vincent’s: Brock Fahrni was achieved.
- $295, 950 carbon offsets paid to become carbon neutral.
- $3 million in utility incentives received from BC Hydro and FortisBC in fiscal year 2021/2022.
- A feasibility study was initiated for processing food and organic wastes from all sites to convert them to useful energy, a plan that will be implemented in 2022.
- As part of moving closer to the goal of developing plant-forward, local, culturally-relevant and equitable food service to advance food as medicine, Indigenous Foodways at PHC were explored.
- St. Paul’s Hospital participated in a mask recycling pilot project in collaboration with the B.C. Ministry of Health.
- Advancements were made to get us closer to our goal of increasing access to and use of transportation modes that reduce negative environmental impacts and benefit human health and wellness:
- Eight Level 2 charging stations and six Level 1 charging stations were installed.
- 64 staff per month participated in the PHC Transit Incentive Program.
- One of seven core sites now have a secure bicycle storage and showering facilities.
- A UBC Sustainability Scholar helped us to identify water-saving opportunities for health care facilities in a new report.
- And in positive news, water-use intensity and absolute water use have decreased by 12.4 per cent since 2010!
We will continue to feature stories from the EPAR over the next little while, so make sure you stay up to date on connect to see what your colleagues have been up to!
And if you’d like to get involved and help make a difference, consider learning more about sustainable and resilient health care, joining the Green+Leaders program to connect with likeminded colleagues or share your environmental sustainability story with EES.