6 ways Wexner Medical Center cut its emissions, improved sustainability

Columbus, Ohio- based Wexner Medical Center has made a concerted effort to reduce its emissions as a system, implementing waste reduction techniques, sustainable construction and local supplier sourcing.

In its most recent sustainability report for the 2021 fiscal year, the 2,000 bed system shared the techniques it used to improve its sustainability and drive down its impact on climate change:

  1. The system used donation and a food waste digester to stop almost 160 tons of food going into landfill. Also using a reusable sharps container prevented 7.5 tons of plastic going to landfill. 

  2. Through purchasing energy credits, the system managed to have 16 percent of the electricity supplying the medical center and 100 percent of the energy supplying off-site centers as carbon neutral.

  3. A special task force looked into alternatives to common anesthesia gasses, which have a large global warming potential, and managed to reduce their use by 46 percent. 

  4. It looked into the carbon footprint of its suppliers and made appropriate changes, for instance 16 percent of the food in the system is now sourced locally, reducing transportation emissions and supporting local producers.

  5. As of February 2021, all new constructions must have a sustainable design element to them. 

  6. The increase in telehealth utilization saved patients 22 million miles driven to its centers and saved about 1 million gallons of gas.

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