We should all be familiar with Energy Star and its bright aqua logo that can be found affixed to a variety of home appliances. It means that when it comes to consumption of electricity, the devices are certified to be especially stingy. It's the same principle with healthcare facilities.
While only 134 hospitals have earned that designation so far, interest in the program is growing, along with participation in the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, commonly known as LEED. That program, in addition to energy initiatives, also focuses on environmentally sustainable construction and other resource management.
As Robeznieks reports, healthcare facilities, because of their 24/7 operations and increasing utilization of high-consumption technologies, are top-tier candidates for energy-reduction initiatives that can deliver big savings to the bottom line.
Reducing energy usage also is one of 10 goals in a new international agenda titled “Global Green and Healthy Hospitals,” issued this month by the international organization Health Care Without Harm. In addition to the energy focus, the project targets water conservation, waste reduction and chemical/drug management, among other objectives.