The 2014 Summit of Sustainability Awards

Winner, Large Business Category: Summa Health System

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Creating a sustainable workplace

Health is always on the forefront at Summa Health System. With multiple hospitals and patient access locations, Summa seeks to provide the highest quality care for its patients.

It is more than just body health that is on its agenda, however. This past year, Summa has made strides in sustainability to improve the health of its buildings.

Summa is on a mission to better manage its waste stream processes, and the organization involves all its departments in this endeavor. With its waste and resource management programs, the organization investigates current practices and identifies ways in which it can reduce and extend the useful life of its resources and equipment.

One practice the program improves upon is recycling. With a target of recycling 900 tons of paper and cardboard, Summa exceeded its goal by recycling 911.04 tons.

New light fixtures and lighting controls in its ACH parking deck resulted in a reduction of 422,695 kilowatt hours or 49.7 percent less than its 2012 usage.

The St. Thomas Hospital Campus saw a 16 percent water consumption reduction from 2012 to 2013 when water loss was discovered and repaired in the cooling water lines.

Summa’s leaders have also addressed the amount of regulated medical waste it produces. In 2002, medical waste volume was in excess of 1.3 million pounds per year at the St. Thomas campus. Between 2011 and 2013, the organization has reduced that waste to 600,000 pounds.

By reducing and recycling its waste, Summa has become a better healer of the environment without sacrificing safety, health or comfort.