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2016 Success Stories: Canadian Health Care Going Green
Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre Earns LEED® Gold Certification.
Hamilton Health Sciences has achieved a significant milestone in its path to environmental sustainability, earning LEED® Gold Certification for the new Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. Designed by PCL Constructors Canada Inc. with input from staff, the unique and innovative facility was built to suit the needs of its clients and families.

Features include:
  • 32% of construction material used recycled content
  • 45% of construction materials were sourced or manufactured within 800 km of the project, or within 2400 km if shipped by water.
  • An energy model predicts 58% less energy use due to energy efficient technologies (individual lighting controls for at least 90% of building occupants, and efficient heating and cooling equipment)
  • Low-flow fixtures to reduce water use by 36% 
  • 86% of construction and demolition waste was diverted from landfill
  • Building envelope to increase thermal resistance 
  • HVAC systems do not use CFC-based refrigerants
  • Project offers sufficient space for storing and collection of recyclables
  • White roof membrane reflects heat
Congratulations Hamilton Health Sciences! Read the full story here.

Patient Room Recycling at North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC)
In February 2016, NBRHC announced that The Go Green Committee, in collaboration with Environmental Services, would launch an inpatient recycling program to bring the blue bin to the bedside. Like in the rest of the hospital, the small bedside bins do not require sorting, making it easy to recycle. Each patient room has been given a recycling bin and a sign showing patients, visitors, and staff what can be recycled. NBRHC has also implemented other recycling initiatives, decreasing waste in a 24 hour period from 14 bags of garbage down to 2 in their renal unit.  NBRHC currently recycles 20% of all waste produced, which is roughly the weight of 125 elephants! NBRHC is LEED ® certified, has successfully implemented the use of refurbished toner cartridges for all desktop printers, and has received the top prize for Aramark's Random Acts of Green Kindness photo challenge for Earth Day in 2015. Congratulations NBRHC! 
Waste Diversion Success Continues At Pembroke Regional Hospital
In February of this year, the Pembroke Regional Hospital teamed up with Stericycle to use their Sharps Management Service – a proactive approach to sharps management through which containers are exchanged and replaced by Stericycle technicians before overfilling. The containers themselves are also improved in terms of design for use, improving staff safety.
“Not only have we gained health and safety improvements, but we are also realizing savings, both financially and environmentally. By using the Sharps Management Service, we are saving 4,740 containers from going to landfill – which translates into 19,770 pounds of plastic kept out of landfill; 1,527 pounds of cardboard kept out of landfill and the prevention of 11,731 pounds of C02 emissions,” said Marilyn Watson, Manager of Environment Services. 
Congratulations Pembroke Regional Hospital!  Read more.

Retrofits at Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower (PMCRT)
The PMCRT has realized huge savings and energy reductions as a result of retrofitting their laboratory exhaust system.  The system has been converted from constant speed to demand controlled to ensure more efficient operation, resulting in annual electricity consumption savings of 1,550,000 kWh (equivalent to approximately 160  houses in Ontario), and electricity peak demand savings of 111.7 kW (equivalent to about 1,400 flat screen TVs running simultaneously). 
Congratulations PMCRT! Read the full story here .
Green News from Canada

Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The Pan Canadian Framework on Climate Change and Clean Growth is now available online! Federal, provincial, and territorial governments have identified new actions to build resilience to climate change across Canada in the following areas:

  • Translating scientific information and Traditional Knowledge into action
  • Building climate resilience through infrastructure
  • Protecting and improving human health and well-being
  • Supporting particularly vulnerable regions
  • Reducing climate-related hazards and disaster risks 

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) considers changes to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program. 

The  Notice of intent to inform stakeholders of upcoming consultations on proposed changes to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program , published on December 10, 2016, in Part I of the  Canada Gazette, provides information about the proposed changes and plans for consultations. The proposed expansion to the reporting requirements includes:
  • Lowering the reporting threshold from 50,000 to 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. All facilities that emit the equivalent of 10,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gases in CO2 equivalent per year will be required to submit a report;
  • Reporting of additional data (e.g. more detailed emissions, quantities of fuels or feedstocks consumed, etc) and applying specific quantification methods to determine emissions. These new requirements will be gradually phased in by sectors. 
ECCC will begin consultations with stakeholders in early 2017, in advance of issuing requirements for 2017. Interested stakeholders will find information on how to get involved in the above notice or on the GHGRP websiteIf you are interested in participating in a collective stakeholder discussion with the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, please email Linda at

Notice on Triclosan and Ozone-Depleting Substances. 
Triclosan is used as an antimicrobial agent and preservative in a variety of products to stop the growth of bacteria, fungus and mildew, and to deodorize. It is used in personal care products, which include cosmetics, natural health products and non-prescription drug products, as well as in cleaning products.  Click here for the Government of Canada's recently published public summary on Triclosan, which concluded that, while current exposure levels are not harmful to human health, even very low concentrations of Triclosan may constitute a danger to the environment, particularly to freshwater aquatic organismsA proposed risk management approach document for Triclosan was also released for a 60-day public comment period ending on January 25, 2017.   

Metered Dose Inhalers
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are chemicals widely used in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, foam manufacturing, and Metered Dose Inhalers (MDI, pictured left). HFCs are greenhouse gases (GHGs), most with global warming potentials that are hundreds to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). Without immediate action, annual GHG emissions from HFCs in Canada are projected to increase from 6 megatonnes (Mt) CO2- equivalent (CO2e) in 2013 to 22 Mt in 2030.

On November 26, 2016, the Government of Canada released Regulations Amending the Ozone-Depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations. The proposed Amendments would introduce product-specific controls that would prohibit the import and manufacture of products and equipment that contain or are designed to contain any HFC, or any blend that contains an HFC, with a global warming potential greater than a designated limit. 

The proposed product-specific controls provide exceptions for a number of technical and medical aerosol products, such as certain cleaning products for electronics and MDIs, for which alternatives do not yet exist. However, the GHG emissions from inhalers are significant: Reports in the UK indicate that MDIs alone account for 5% of the entire CO2e footprint. 73 million inhalers are used in the UK every day, and emitted an estimated 1.6 MtCO2e in 2011

Suggestions for action: 
  • Switching to alternatives such as dry powder inhalers can help reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Where propellants are being used, recycling empty inhalers captures any unused propellant gas and reduces emissions. 
  • Educate patients about how and when to take their medicines to improve effectiveness and prevent discarded medicines polluting the environment and being used inappropriately by others. 
  • Review prescribing guidelines and benchmark prescribing practices to reduce inappropriate prescriptions of medications.
Government of Canada to Ban Asbestos
On December 15, 2016, t he Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, along with the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced that the Government of Canada will move forward with a whole-of-government approach to fulfill its commitment to ban asbestos and asbestos-containing products by 2018. Read more here.
Green News from Abroad
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) released reports which identify the climate change or greenhouse gas (GHG) hot spots within the health system. The implementation notes show that the majority of the GHG emissions are within the supply chain providing products and services, and pharmaceuticals have been identified as a major GHG contributor to the health system – 16% of the entire NHS health care system carbon footprint. Also provided is a list of 20 priority pharmaceutical items with the highest GHG impact, which collectively account for more than 60% of the pharmaceutical footprint.  Having doctors understand the implications of medications from a global health perspective could be a small step in the education process and can start the discussion of what the options for reducing pharmaceutical use could look like. Read more.
Gundersen Health System (Vermont), along with three other U.S. healthcare systems, is helping to bring discounted solar energy to its employee, patients, and community. The program Solar.Clinic comes through a partnership between Healthcare Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth, and Geostellar, the nation's first online solar marketplace. Read more.
Health Care Without Harm Europe Talks Food Waste. Preventing and reducing food waste has become a global priority. Health Care Without Harm Europe has published Food Waste in European Healthcare Settings: a collection of case studies from around Europe and recommendations for preventing and reducing food waste in healthcare. 
The Lancet Countdown
Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change is an international, multi-disciplinary research collaboration, dedicated to tracking progress on health and climate change from 2016 to 2030. Click here to access the latest report which describes the Lancet Countdown's plans and proposes a series of indicators and indicator domains, to be tracked by the collaboration.
COP22 Emphasizes Link Between Climate and Health. COP22  featured a range of events covering the impacts of climate change on public health, including: Health Action Day, Health Care Without Harm and Global Green and Healthy Hospital’s Climate and Health Care Conference, and the launch of the Lancet Countdown, a project aiming to annually track and report on the health impacts of climate hazards. Read more from Health Care Without Harm News.
News and Events
  CHES Call for Submissions - Spring Journal Issue
Call for Submissions - Canadian Healthcare Facilities

The Spring issue of CHES's Journal, Canadian Healthcare Facilities (CHF), spotlights Trends & Innovation in Health Care. CHES is currently accepting article submissions on this topic as well as on the following industry focuses: (1) Infection Prevention & Control; and (2) Technology.

If you are interested in submitting an article, please contact CHF's Editor, Clare Tattersall, at
with the proposed topic and brief description (2-3 sentences) of the focus.
Deadline for all approved article submissions is Friday, January 27, 2017.
  Now Crowdfunding for the Attawapiskat Youth Eco-Film Lab
What is it?
Planet in Focus will be bringing the successful Eco-Film Lab filmmaking workshop to Attawapiskat in Spring 2017. Over the course of one week, professional filmmakers will work with youth, teaching them how to create their own films using iPads.

Why Attawapiskat?
This project was inspired by the film After The Last River by Victoria Lean, which won Best Canadian Feature at our 2015 festival. The film reveals the impact of diamond mining and decades of government underfunding on the environment and the community. The Goal of this proeject is to provide youth access to specialized educational experiences and share their stories with Canadians further south.

How can I help?
By donating to the campaign. All contributions will fund flights for the workshop leaders and purchase equipment to be used and donated to the students. Watch the video below!
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