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Virginia Mason Energy Conversation Focus Protects Environment, Saves Money

SEATTLE – (April 22, 2015) – Virginia Mason avoided using 7.3 million gallons of water and 3.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity from 2012 through 2014 thanks to its energy conservation programs.

Those energy savings equate to estimated cost savings of $439,664 in water and $607,498 for electricity during the three-year period.

Through its award-winning EnviroMason environmental stewardship initiative, Virginia Mason also diverted more than 3,400 tons of waste from landfills between 2009 and 2013 by expanding recycling at its facilities; providing a composting option in lunch and break rooms; and implementing a construction debris recycling program. Virginia Mason recycles more than 50 percent of its waste, compared to the health care industry average of 20 percent.

“Virginia Mason is one the greenest hospitals in the nation,” said Brenna Davis, director, Sustainability. “This achievement is a testament to the tireless effort by everyone at Virginia Mason to protect the natural environment for future generations.”

Today is Earth Day, which is designated for celebrating environmental protection efforts and raising public awareness about the need to do even more. 

EnviroMason, the Virginia Mason environmental stewardship program, engages the health system’s nearly 6,000 team members in minimizing environmental impacts through recycling, composting, reducing energy and water use, using alternative transportation (i.e., bicycle, bus or carpool) for commuting to and from work, and purchasing sustainably grown food.

Last week, Virginia Mason joined nine leading health care institutions around the world in pledging action on climate change, kicking off a global campaign to mobilize hospitals and health systems to further reduce potentially harmful impacts of their carbon footprints. Their commitment signaled the launch of the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge, an initiative of Health Care without Harm’s Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network.

In 2014, Virginia Mason became the first health care organization in the U.S. to obtain Marine Stewardship Council certification for serving sustainable seafood in the hospital cafeteria. The Food and Nutrition Department serves 1.5 million meals annually, and almost 40 percent of the supplies are locally produced or certified as sustainable.

Also last year, Virginia Mason also received three awards from PracticeGreenhealth for its programs that promote energy conservation, recycling and elimination of hazardous products from the workplace.

About Virginia Mason
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs about 6,000 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians; regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety. Virginia Mason website: www.VirginiaMason.org

To learn more about Virginia Mason, please visit Facebook.com/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter. To learn how Virginia Mason is transforming health care and to join the conversation, visit our blog at VirginiaMasonBlog.org.

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Virginia Mason Media Relations
(206) 341-1509
gale.robinette@VirginiaMason.org