November 19, 2018

Mercy Medical Center receives 10th consecutive EPA ENERGY STAR Certification

For the 10th consecutive year, Mercy Medical Center has been awarded the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification—one of only three hospitals in the U.S., and the only one in Ohio, to earn this designation. In recognition of this achievement, Mercy held a special ceremony to honor the hospital’s facilities management team, as well as vendors and partners that assist in energy-saving initiatives.

Each year the hospital’s main campus, a facility of one million square feet that’s a blend of old and new construction, saves approximately $976,000 in energy costs. On average, ENERGY STAR-certified buildings and plants use 35 percent less energy, cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and are less expensive to operate than their peers—all without sacrifices in performance or comfort. Hospitals that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification, on average, save $3,000 per bed annually on energy costs.

“Mercy is a testimony to the practicality and long-term value of thoughtful sustainability practices,” said Paul Hiltz, Mercy president and CEO. “Energy conservation and care for the environment are not only essential principles of good stewardship in Catholic health care and in keeping with Mercy’s long-standing mission, but also a tremendous savings over time to our bottom line. This savings enables us to invest even more in the exceptional treatment we provide for our patients and families. Sustainability is a win-win for Mercy, the communities we serve, and the ecosystem we share.” 

OHA Resolution Adds to Mercy’s Many Environmental Awards

In presenting Hiltz with an OHA resolution honoring Mercy for its environmental leadership and accomplishments, Cliff Lehman, senior vice president of member services and operations for OHA, said, “The Ohio Hospital Association is proud to join this special occasion to honor Mercy Medical Center and its commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. The hospital has emerged as a leading institution around energy efficiency, and we applaud your efforts.”

In 2012, Mercy received the OHA’s John Chapman Award, which recognizes a hospital or health system that has demonstrated leadership in guiding their facility toward the goals of environmental sustainability, regulatory compliance, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention. Mercy has also received the OHA’s Melvin Creeley Award for environmental excellence multiple times, as well as the Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence Award.

Energy Management: an Attitude and a Culture

In addition to standard “green” building practices, each renovation or new construction Mercy undertakes includes the following environmentally conscious strategies:

  • Sunshades, which keep out the direct rays of the sun, lowering the need for additional cooling.
  • LED lighting, the most efficient way to light.
  • Air curtains, which keep the heat where it is most needed.
  • Skylights, which provide as much natural light as possible so that fewer lights are needed.
  • Occupancy sensors, which automatically turn off lights when rooms are not in use.

In 2017, Mercy recycled 22 percent of its total trash, including 1,563 pounds of batteries; 139 tons of cardboard; 118 tons of confidential shredding; 39 tons of comingled plastic, glass, metal, aluminum, paper, and chipboard; 14.5 tons of computers and electronics; and 2,790 pounds of light bulbs.

Nick Bagnolo, vice president of construction and facilities for the Sisters of Charity Health System, said that achieving ENERGY STAR requires a team effort.

“A lot of people have contributed to this achievement, including plant engineering staff, hospital administration, Siemens Building Technologies, architects and engineers like Peter, Tschantz & Associates, American Electric Power, and Abbott Electric,” Bagnolo said. “I want to stress that energy management is more than just installing energy efficient equipment. It is an attitude and a culture in which all we do from a physical plant perspective is looked at through a lens focused on energy.”

Ohio currently leads the nation in ENERGY STAR certified hospitals with 13 OHA-member hospitals recognized. In the five-year period ending in June 2017, hospitals participating in OHA’s ENERGY STAR benchmarking project saved enough money to hire 139 nurses and reduced their carbon footprint equivalent to taking 23,443 cars off the road or the climate benefits of 2.85 million mature trees. ENERGY STAR-certified buildings and plants are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide, based on weather-normalized source energy use that takes into account occupancy, hours of operation, and other key metrics. ENERGY STAR is the only energy efficiency certification in the United States that is based on actual, verified energy performance.

For more information about Mercy’s conservation efforts, visit cantonmercy.org/green.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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