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Green Hospital Scorecard update
Earlier this month, The Coalition announced the sixth year of the Green Hospital Scorecard program and extended an invitation to all hospitals to participate! This year we are excited to expand the program by adding several new sections: Transportation, Food, Climate Change and Energy Behaviour.

Click here to access this year's survey, which collects information for 2017 (January – December). If your organisation has multiple sites, a separate survey is required for each site. Please coordinate with your in-house team to ensure only one survey per hospital site is submitted for 2017 (January – December).
To support your participation in the Survey, we have our previous webinars available for download, as well as a new Lunch and Learn webinar next week:

  • Educational webinar - how to submit, information on the new sections. Download the slides HERE.

  • Energy Behaviour webinar - an introduction and overview of energy behaviour. Download the slides HERE.

  • NEW! Lunch and Learn webinar - An open forum to discuss questions about the survey and to engage with other participants. To submit questions or topics for discussion, click HERE. To register for the webinar, click HERE.

Participation in the Green Hospital Scorecard is FREE. The deadline for submissions is March 22, 2019 - submit by March 8, 2019 to win a $50 gift card of your choice! To help cover program delivery costs we encourage all participants to become members of the Coalition. For membership details, contact Linxi at

FREE Professional mode of RETScreen Expert Energy Management software till March 31, 2019

Until March 31, 2019, the subscription based Professional mode of the RETScreen Expert Clean Energy Management (RETScreen) is available for a one-year free trial from Natural Resources Canada (further details provided below).

RETScreen is a comprehensive “made-in-Canada” clean energy management software platform which enables health care energy and building professionals and decision-makers to identify and assess the viability of energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration projects; and measure and verify the actual and ongoing energy performance of buildings such as hospitals, long-term care homes, and energy plants.

For more information, please read this article or visit our website. To learn how you can get your FREE trial RETScreen Clean Energy Management Software subscription, and receive implementation assistance from the Coalition, please contact JJ Knott at
Food waste in a health care setting: case studies and savings

When it comes to wasting food, hospitals are one of the most egregious culprits, with two to three times more waste than other food service sectors. The University of California San Francisco Medical Center, however, has found that one change cut the amount of food it wastes by 30%. It now serves food on-demand.

“I don’t send you a meal unless you ask for it. In the old way, we sent you a tray and gave you food whether you liked it or not,” says Dan Henroid, Director of Nutrition and Food Services for UCSF Health. Given that patient trays have been found to generate over half of hospital food waste, it makes sense that serving food only when desired could make a big difference.

Hospitals are finding other ways of saving food from going to waste as well. Some are tracking wasted food in their kitchens and modifying practices accordingly. Others are repurposing foods from one meal service to the next, such as by shredding surplus bacon after breakfast to provide bacon bits for the lunch time salad bar. 

To read the full article, please click HERE. To read case studies from around Europe and recommendations for preventing and reducing food waste in health care, please click HERE.
Understanding factors that contribute to the disposal of unused opioid medication

Purdue Pharma L.P. recently announced the publication of a survey study that found one-third of patients disposed of their unused opioid medication, and those who received education about the importance of safe disposal were approximately three times more likely to do so.

The survey study, which was undertaken to inform the design of future drug take-back programs by gaining a better understanding of drivers of drug disposal behavior, was sponsored by Purdue and recently published in the peer-reviewed  Journal of Pain Research .

Patients who disposed of unused opioids reported doing so as part of a routine practice of disposing of all excess medication, an awareness of the risks posed by unused opioids, or with instruction from a trusted health care provider. For patients who kept their unused opioid medication, the greatest influencing factor was a desire to have the medication on-hand should they need it in the future.

To access the full paper, please click HERE.
Going Green: The latest sustainability trends in medical packaging

There is an estimated one million tons of clean, non-infectious health care plastic generated in health care facilities each year, accordingly to The Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC).  One area where there is an opportunity to reduce waste through increased design innovation and process and material optimisation is in health care packaging.

This article illustrates the strategies that packaging manufacturers are using to drive effective sustainability practices, such as:
  • green design
  • environmentally-friendly design and process
  • efficient and cost-saving transportation
  • education and recycling programs

For more information on this story, please click HERE.
Eliminating waste in massage therapy practices

Although massage therapy clinics are not big waste generators, there are still many simple things therapists can do to make their practices more eco-friendly, says Kent Waddington in an interview with Massage Therapy Canada . Many of these are things people are already doing at home and that knowledge can be transferred to their offices. While there may be some financial investment involved in implementing these changes upfront, many of these environmentally friendly practices will actually save money in time, he adds.

To read Kent's full interview with Massage Therapy Canada, please click HERE.

How U.S. hospitals cleaned up their toxic trash

In 1994, the Environmental Protection Agency released a report that found that incinerators used by many hospitals throughout the United States were a top emitter of harmful air pollutants, including mercury and dioxin. Two years later, Gary Cohen founded the organisation Health Care Without Harm with the goal of persuading hospitals to adopt more sustainable waste management practices.

Gradually, health care providers realized that making sustainable changes — such as switching to machines called autoclaves to sterilize hazardous waste — could be cost-effective in the long run. When Health Care Without Harm started, there were some 4,500 medical incinerators in the United States. As of 2010, there were only 57 , according to an EPA report.

To read more about how hospitals in the United States are engaging in sustainable waste diversion and elimination initiatives, please click HERE.
Dan Ritchie, former Coalition Programs Manager, wins Artificial Intelligence Challenge by Blekinge Institute of Technology

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Challenge presented by Blekinge Business Incubator and Blekinge Institute of Technology, challenged participants to propose a plan for reducing CO 2 emissions using AI. Dan, along with his teammates, presented an integrated automated system that accurately monitors and adjusts the flow of energy throughout buildings and gives the opportunity for clients to collaborate and prototype using our systems. The purpose being to build skills around emerging technology.

"We did not want to reinvent the wheel and present something that already existed. We have used existing systems that we adapted to our needs and ideas. The software used is open, to be as flexible as possible." says Dan. He and his teammates have won a trip to Silicon Valley later this spring, to meet with companies like Google, the AI ​​company BootstrapLab and also Nordic Innovation House. 

Congratulations Dan!

WEBINAR: GHS Lunch and Learn

The Coalition will host it's first Lunch and Learn GHS Webinar, allowing participants a forum to discuss questions about the survey and to engage with other participants.

We welcome participants to submit questions and topics for discussion at the following link. Suggestions for discussion will be taken up until March 4th 2019.

To register for the webinar, please click HERE or contact Linxi Mytkolli at 

WEBINAR: Going plant-centered for patients and planet
Food production is a significant contributor to climate change, accounting for nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Animal-based foods account for two-thirds of agricultural GHG emissions and more than three-quarters of agricultural land use, while plant-based foods have much lower environmental impacts.

This webinar will introduce the Cool Food Pledge, a new platform to help hospitals, universities, businesses, and cities offer diners more of what they want while slashing food-related greenhouse gas emissions. Learn how to participate in the Cool Food Pledge and how committing can benefit a facility’s triple bottom line.

WHEN: February 26, 2019 at noon - registration is FREE. For more information and to register, please click HERE.
ENERGY STAR ® Canada Awards nomination are open!
Between January 8 and March 1, 2019 ENERGY STAR ® Participants will be invited to apply for one or more awards. NRCan is excited to recognize the outstanding 2018 achievements in promoting ENERGY STAR ® certified products and new homes!

Please visit the Awards Page  for more information.

CHES 2019 Awards - Call for Nominations & Grant Submissions
CHES is seeking nominations for the 2019 Awards. Members are reminded to nominate a deserving member or facility for one of three prestigious awards!

  1. Hans Burgers Award for Outstanding Contribution to Healthcare Engineering
  2. Wayne McLellan Award of Excellence in Healthcare Facilities Management
  3. CHES Young Professional Grant

Applications are due April 30, 2019. For more information on the application process and the awards, please click HERE.
RCO presents Circular Procurement Summit
This June, the Recycling Council of Ontario is hosting an educational and transformational event. Canada’s first-ever Circular Procurement Summit is designed for municipalities, their provincial and federal counterparts, and the public sector and their suppliers at large.
The aim is to support and accelerate the transition to the circular economy through procurement.

By leveraging purchasing power, public health bodies can drive circular outcomes in their operations that produce savings, long-term value, and environmentally preferable options that benefits their organisations and patients.
Visit the summit website for more information.
Register for 2018 SABMag Canadian Green Building Awards
Register now at to receive your Entry Kit for the 2019 SABMag Canadian Green Building Awards. With nine submission categories, the Awards is a great opportunity to have your work recognized and published in SABMag, and on the SABMag web site and newsletter.

Eligible projects must have been substantially completed between January 1, 2016 and February 28, 2019. If you entered a project last year, enter it again. A different jury can bring different results. An entry fee applies only when you make your submission. Deadline for submissions March 8, 2019.
Click here for more information.
Health Care Sustainability and Patient Engagement Symposium
Patients and caregivers can act as engines for change within our health system. When it comes to sustainability in health care, whether that includes manufacturing pressures for single use products, or waste management in home care and hospital, there are many opportunities for leaders in health care to raise awareness about our need to chart a path forward to build sustainability.

This symposium hosted by the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation’s Patient Engagement Committee and the Committee on the Environment Climate Change and Sustainability for a half day event that will aim to set an agenda and issue a call to action for environmentally sustainable health systems with patients as partners for change.

Featuring keynote speakers from both expert communities in Canada and globally, attendees will have the opportunity to engage with and learn from one another as we aim to set the agenda for co-designed and environmentally sustainable health systems. A full agenda can be found HERE.
Though the event is currently SOLD OUT, you may sign up for the wait-list HERE. Please stay tuned for details on a live-stream in the next issue of The Digest!
NOURISH Food for Health Symposium
Be a part of a national movement to make food a fundamental part of health and healing for patients, our communities and our planet.

The two-day symposium is a meeting place for health care and food systems stakeholders to learn about the power of food to enhance the patient experience, organisational culture, and community well-being. Situated at Evergreen Brickworks in the beautiful Don Valley ravine on Treaty 13, join Nourish for two memorable days of immersive learning experiences, great food, and conversations about the future of food in health care. 

When: May 15-16 th 2019
What to expect:
  • Keynote speakers and thought-leadership from prominent Indigenous, Canadian, and international leaders;
  • Experiential workshops with practitioners leading innovation around food in health care;
  • Immersive hospital food experience around the future of food in health care;
  • Elders gathering and a focus on truth and reconciliation through food in health care.
  • Local tours to health care sites and food places of interest in Toronto
  • Networking opportunities with national leaders & a chance to share challenges and pathways forward to getting more value from the food served in health care 

Save 20-30% by registering by March 14th - click HERE for more information.

The Green Digest was brought to you by ENERGY STAR ® Canada.

If you have inspirational greening stories or photos to share with Green Digest readers, please send them to Linxi at
Some articles referred to in the Digest make reference to services and/or product offerings from specific suppliers. The CCGHC recommends that readers research the service and product offerings available through a wider range of suppliers for comparison purposes and in keeping with public sector purchasing guidelines. These articles should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any product or service.