Hospitals get on board with the Green Hospital Scorecard
By HPAC MagazineConstruction Engineering Green Technology green healthcare
The Green Hospital Scorecard (GHS) is the only environmental and sustainability benchmarking tool of its kind in Canada, providing a snapshot of a hospital’s performance in energy and water conservation, waste management and recycling, corporate commitment, and pollution prevention.
In 2013, the GHS was developed and administered by the Ontario Hospital Association through the Green Hospital Champion Fund and supportive funding from the Ministry of Consumer and Government Services. The program ended in early 2016, and the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, with funding from the Government of Ontario, is now continuing with the delivery of the scorecard through 2017.
Participating hospitals report on their environmental initiatives through an online questionnaire. The data is summarized in an easy-to-interpret Green Hospital Scorecard that allows hospitals to benchmark themselves against previous years and to compare their environmental performance with that of other hospitals. “In addition, we are also providing suggestions on areas for improvement and will offer assistance in implementing programs,” notes Samantha Putos, sustainable health care programs analyst with the coalition.
About half of Ontario’s hospitals have participated every year since the program launch, but the Coalition expects this number to increase as the scorecard’s benefits are more broadly recognized. “Senior management of participating hospitals see the tool as invaluable in highlighting opportunities for reduced operating costs and increased resilience to the impacts of climate change,” says Linda Varangu, coalition executive director. Many participants in the GHS program also use complementary energy benchmarking tools, such as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager which is managed by Natural Resources in Canada.
Program participants are recognized individually with annual gold, silver, and bronze level achievements and are also eligible for annual Green Health Care awards. A webinar planned for the spring of 2017 will highlight top scorers and provide a forum for exchanging ideas and best practices.
In coming years, the Coalition would like to extend the scorecard to long-term care facilities in Ontario and is hoping to move the scorecard to the national level. Varangu notes that a pilot is in place in a few New Brunswick and Nova Scotia hospitals to determine the changes required for national implementation. The 2017 scorecard may have additional categories in areas such as green purchasing, and will also be available in French. Currently ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager has three performance indicators for the health care sector: hospitals, medical offices and long-term care facilities.
Visit the Coalition’s website for more information on the Green Hospital Scorecard. If you would like to participate contact Samantha Putos at email@example.com. If you are interested in how the coalition can offer this opportunity outside of Ontario, contact Linda Varangu at firstname.lastname@example.org.