April 22, 2016 - As we celebrate Earth Day today, CAMH continues to move the dial when it comes to green initiatives such as energy savings.
Already recognized as a top 10th-percentile hospital by the Greening Health Care initiative, CAMH made more big strides over the past year.
“Our analysis confirms CAMH had energy savings of 5 per cent at the Queen Street site, 7 per cent at the College Street site, and 18 per cent at the Russell Street site in 2015,” says Steve Stamogiannos, Supervisor, Plant Operations and Maintenance. A big factor in those gains over the previous year were capital projects such as new state-of-the-art chiller units and cooling towers, delivering more flexible and cost-effective multi-stage cooling. Other savings resulted from operational changes – for example, scheduling equipment to shut down during un-occupied times.
All told, CAMH delivered energy savings of well over $200,000 last year. More importantly, “spending less on energy means more funds are available for client and patient care,” says Steve.
Steve Stamogiannos (left) and colleague Richard Deabreu in CAMH’s new chiller unit room at the College Street site. A brand new cooling tower (below), with a rooftop view, was fabricated on site. The upgrade is generating significant energy savings.
Power to spare: An example of electricity savings at the CAMH Russell Street site – the blue line is power used in 2015, compared to the red line representing the previous year – a 10 per cent savings in this case.
While CAMH as an organization has shown its commitment to green initiatives, employees play a huge role. “Staff are really engaged and committed on this issue,” says Steve.
How do employee do their part? The biggest bang for the buck comes from attention to computers, lighting and water:
- Turning a computer off each night (shutting down versus logging off) saves about $75 annually
- Turning off a single light each night, in areas where lighting is not automated, can save $30 annually and also reduce costs of replacement bulbs and labour.
- Fixing a leaky tap or toilet can significantly reduce water use and costs.
- CAMH employees also:
- Use recycling and green compost bins
- Are encouraged to bring reusable utensils and a coffee mug or glass to work
- Select two-sided printing and carefully consider print requirements.
CAMH has moved the dial but “we’re not done yet,” says Steve. Plans for 2016 include a multi-phase LED light replacement at the College Street site. This will include lights in public spaces such as exits and corridors, as well as offices.
“We will continue to benchmark our green efforts against more than 40 other peer hospitals through the Greening Health Care initiative,” says Support Services Director Teresa Carlisle. “CAMH is committed to further innovation to be a green leader.”