FOCUS ON ENVIRONMENT
Cincinnati Children’s Hires First Senior Consultant of Sustainability
“Typically, a hospital will only take up 2 percent of space in a community, but around 5.5 percent of the energy resources.”
Over the past several years, emphasis on environmental sustainability has grown. Medical facilities usually use more energy resources than their geographical footprint would suggest.
Cincinnati Children’s is taking several steps to address that imbalance, including creating a new position. Ron Moore is the medical center’s first senior consultant of sustainability. Moore will track the performance of various sustainability efforts across the organization including:
- Sustainable procurement
- Safe chemicals
- Waste reduction
- Energy management
- Transportation initiatives
- Sustainable building design choices
“Typically, a hospital will only take up 2 percent of space in a community, but around 5.5 percent of the energy resources,” said Moore. “As more national sustainability programs go into effect, hospitals will need to become more energy and conservation conscious.”
Moore believes the best way to achieve those goals is through teamwork, collaboration and the ability to think ahead.
The Road Ahead
“I’ll be working with Plant Operations and Engineering; Design Construction and Planning; Environmental Health and Safety; and Marketing and Communications, as well as various health professionals. Every area will be a little different, so collaboration will be critical,” said Moore.
He will help continue to support the hospital’s mission of creating awareness around sustainability and helping staff understand the impact of “reduce, reuse and recycle.”
“I’ve only been here since the beginning of April, but so far, employees have been excited to learn more, and several departments already have their own programs in place or they have ideas that I can help them execute,” said Moore.
In his short time on the job, Moore has already had discussions about creating greener Operating Rooms and improving sustainability in the research realm. He also expects conversations around sustainability to evolve as Cincinnati Children’s becomes greener.
“Over time we might see employees taking their own steps towards sustainability that will also impact our decision-making,” said Moore. “For example, we might see more employees driving electric vehicles, which in turn would mean that we need to consider whether we have an appropriate number of charging stations for our employees to use.”
Newer buildings, like Locations T, S and G, have incorporated green technology into their design.
A Worthy Investment
“Cincinnati Children’s will continue to monitor procurement sources and utility usage, but there will also be a commitment to innovate sustainability concepts. Our guiding question will be, ‘How can we conserve more and use less in a way that positively impacts patients, families and the community?’” said Jim Burger, vice president, Facilities.
“Being good stewards to the environment can have a trickle-down effect,” said Moore. “As we improve our sustainability efforts there might be additional opportunities to partner with the community. The cost of resources can go down for the community, and cost savings can be passed on to families.”
Getting all Cincinnati Children’s buildings up to acceptable environmental sustainability levels will require initial investments for things like green plumbing and electrical fixtures, staff training and job aids. Fortunately, with newer buildings like Locations T and S, as well as Location G, the medical center is moving in the right direction.
Said Moore, “Based on the participation I’ve seen and the effort Cincinnati Children’s has made to be at the forefront of the industry in terms of sustainability initiatives, I’m confident we can improve our environmental footprint.”