Healthcare facilities across the country have quickly realized the benefits of “Going Green.” Through numerous employee suggestions and with the support of our Senior Leadership, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center (MMC) located in Johnstown, is approaching the “Green” philosophy with great enthusiasm! We have recently assembled a “Green Team” comprised of staff from several areas of the organization to explore implementing environmentally friendly practices and expand on initiatives currently in place. Currently, our organization recycles many items such as cardboard, batteries, toner cartridges, eco-fluorescent bulbs and wooden pallets. Our Dietary Department recycles kitchen grease and uses kitchen paper products that are comprised of 40% post-consumer content. We are also in the process of working with our local waste hauler to investigate developing programs to recycle plastic, glass, aluminum, and paper.
In order to create a better healing environment for our patients, all of our day-to-day cleaning chemicals at MMC are certified Green. High-pressure steam equipment is used, which requires no chemicals, in the cleaning of 75 percent of floors to remove old wax and dirt. The use of micro-fiber technology in our daily mopping reduces our water and chemical consumption by more than 80 percent and we are currently trialing micro-fiber cleaning cloths in several areas, which will eliminate the use of disposals for cleaning by almost 100 percent.
Our Green Team is currently in the process of adding a Green Corner area on our website to educate staff on several small things they can do in their day-to-day activities, including the use of washable coffee mugs rather than Styrofoam cups, setting printer options to double-sided as a default, utilizing more electronic communication and encouraging shutting off lights, computers and radios when not in use or at the end of the work day. We have also implemented paperless paychecks, which not only helps the environment, but saves the organization a significant amount of money in printing costs. Employee suggestions to eliminate printing of our bi-weekly employee newsletter and provide it electronically to staff, has cut back on printing by almost 4,000 pages a month. An internet communication tool, the Carpool Connection, was also developed to help staff research local mass transit options and post carpool requests.
The Green Team at Memorial is optimistic that the momentum we currently have will continue! We look forward to growing our green practices within the organization and creating a healthier environment for both our patients and staff.