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GBMC Recognized for “Green” Hospital Efforts
May 01, 2012

 

GBMC Recognized for “Green” Hospital Efforts

Organization To Receive Practice Greenealth Environmental Excellence Award at CleanMed 2012 Conference

BALTIMORE, Md. – May 2, 2012 – In recognition of the organization’s significant earth-friendly accomplishments, GBMC HealthCare, parent company of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center hospital and Gilchrist Hospice Care, has been named a winner of a Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Partner for Change Award.  GBMC representatives will accept the organization’s award today at the CleanMed 2012 national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability in Denver, Colo.

“GBMC is committed to maintaining a healthy, sustainable environment, which aligns with our mission of Health. Healing. Hope,” said Michael Forthman, GBMC’s vice president of facilities.  “In addition to focusing on providing excellent patient care, we have incorporated environmental responsibility as a critical part of our mission.”

GBMC has made significant strides in our commitment to sustainability, including:

  • Creating an organization-wide “Green Team” which includes representatives from 20 different departments and is charged with driving the organization’s sustainability program.
  • Achieving a 13 percent annual reduction in total waste output via a campus-wide recycling program.
  • Saving nearly $1 million in gas and electric bills via various initiatives such as lowering energy usage during peak load consumption days in the summer, when demand on the energy grid is at its highest.
  • Diverting more than 10,000 pounds of food scraps every month from landfills via a composting program implemented to capture and recycle food waste.
  • Changing office supply vendors to a company that has less of a carbon footprint, such as a more efficient delivery system and using environmentally-friendly reusable plastic totes instead of cardboard boxes.
  • Recycling 50 tables and 150 chairs from our cafeteria to a local nonprofit organization.
  • Donating medical equipment including tables and benches from clinical units to a local men’s shelter for reuse.
  • Reducing our printer inventory by identifying very low-use printers and older units that were not energy efficient. As a result, more than 100 printers were decommissioned, sold, or recycled. In their place, the purchase and use of communal printers that save energy, paper and toner cartridges, is being supported.
  • Donating 12 pallets worth of surplus medical supplies to MedShare, many of which were used in relief efforts in Haiti.

In the hospital’s cafeteria,

  • Switching to multi-use condiment pumps from wasteful single-serve packets
  • Introducing paperless meal tickets for employees to cut out unnecessary paper
  • Establishing food-wrapping stations which allow cafeteria patrons to wrap their to-go items without using non-degradable expanded polystyrene. 

Additionally, GBMC’s Green Team organizes an annual Earth Day event to promote environmentally responsible behavior, both at work and at home. This year’s event, held April 23, featured three zones:  Home/Energy, Food, and GBMC/Work. The event drew more than 1,000 visitors (employees, patients, and community members) and included recycling stations for cell phones/accessories, eyeglasses, and alkaline batteries.

In 2012, GBMC plans to reduce the organization’s environmental impact even further by implementing a comprehensive waste separation and recycling program aimed at reducing regulated medical waste and attain additional energy savings by installing motion sensors on light fixtures.

About GBMC

GBMC HealthCare includes Greater Baltimore Medical Center, a 281 bed acute care not-for-profit hospital which opened in 1965 and provides Health, Healing and Hope;; Greater Baltimore Medical Associates, a group of more than 40 multi-specialty physician practices on the hospital’s Towson campus and locations across the region; Greater Baltimore Health Alliance, an alliance of GBMC-employed and private practicing physician partners; Gilchrist Hospice Care, Maryland’s largest hospice organization offering care in-home as well as in a 34-bed inpatient center on the GBMC Towson campus and at a 10-bed inpatient center in Howard County; and the GBMC Foundation, which raises funds to support the organization’s mission. For more information, visit www.gbmc.org

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