TMC Gets Good Checkup for World Environment Day

It’s World Environment Day and Tucson Medical Center is doing its part to help conserve resources for a healthier planet.

“A lot of departments here are doing a lot of things that are the right things,” said Gordie Powell, Director of Environmental Services at TMC.

TMC launched a “green” initiative three years ago, hosting a town hall to encourage employees to make conscious decisions about conserving key resources.

With ongoing emphasis since, here are some recent indicators that TMC is on the right path:

  • Deforestation, which accounts for 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions: TMC has reduced its paper usage by a signficant 48 percent since the introduction of electronic medical records.
  • Energy: TMC is participating in a solar project that will provide TMC with solar electricity and solar hot water. The solar project , to be installed on the roof of TMC’s power plant, is expected to generate enough energy to heat 5,300 gallons of hot water per day for the power plant boilers, which generate steam for things such as heating, laundry, food preparation and the sterilization of instruments.
  • Water: TMC reduced its water use by 2 percent from the previous 3-year average. The desert-scape campus has a focus on native, drought resistant vegetation, but the water savings also comes from employees being more mindful about water usage, Powell said.
  • Construction: TMC’s new Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower being built on the west campus is designed to exceed an energy star rating of 75, which will increase the hospital’s overall Energy Star rating and which indicates that a facility performs better than at least 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. Powell said great care was taken, for example, in choosing the most efficient windows, and heating and cooling equipment.
  • Waste: TMC has also reduced the amount of waste going into the landfills by 2011 through increased recycling and donation programs. The hospital donates medical supplies and equipment each year to World Care, along with hundreds of cell phones, monitors and electronic equipment no longer in use at TMC.

Powell said individual decisions can make a difference, whether that be holding off on printing that document, reporting water leaks or shutting off lights when not in use.

“We will continue to look for ways to improve,” he said, “because ultimately, it’s the right thing to do.”

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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