Health workers are turing the lights off at night

Vancouver Island Health receives recognition – along with some big savings – for its energy conservation

  • Oct. 1, 2013 6:00 a.m.

Island Health is celebrating the energy saving efforts of its staff across the region who earned the organization a first place ranking in BC Hydro’s Top Ten Power Smart Partners for 2013.

Island Health, formerly known as the Vancouver Island Health Authority, saved 520,275 kilowatts (kWh) – enough energy to power nearly 48 households for a year. The savings were achieved from April 1, 2012 to Aug. 31, 2013.

“Congratulations to all Island Health staff for their efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said MLA Michelle Stilwell, Parliamentary Secretary for Healthy Living. “We are proud of Island Health’s commitment to promote awareness about environmental sustainability and to being a responsible community partner on Vancouver Island by reducing its carbon footprint.”

Through the BC Hydro Power Smart Partner Program, from 2006-’13, Island Health has been able to achieve a cumulative energy savings of 12,394,000 kWh of electricity – enough to power 1,239 homes, or a total savings of $2,758,282.

“It’s no easy task saving energy in an organization like ours which runs 24/7, serves more than 765,000 people, and supports over 18,000 health care professionals and volunteers at over 150 facilities across our region,” said Joe Murphy, Island Health Vice-President of Operations and Support Services.

“We simply could not have achieved this recognition without the efforts of all our staff who take steps in their workplace every day to save energy.”

Island Health has several initiatives to promote environmental sustainability and institute a culture of energy savings that include:

  • Facilities across the region implement energy saving strategies such as more efficient air circulation and lighting upgrades.
  • Strong staff participation and engagement with Island Health’s Green Team conservation program including reducing and recycling waste and significant investments in facility management and operations training.
  • A strategic plan which includes a baseline to determine where to invest resources for energy efficiency projects for the next five years.
  • Reinvesting all of the energy-savings back into greening the organization.
  • Adopting the organization-wide target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020.

“As a Power Smart partner, we are demonstrating our commitment to energy conservation. We also know that being green saves the organization money which is important to staff and local communities,” said Deanna Fort, Island Health Director of Energy Efficiency and Conservation. “From north of Campbell River to the West Coast to Cowichan in the east to south island, we are all being smart with our power.”

“Island Health continues to be a great partner for BC Hydro and leads the way in BC,” said Jeff Whitson, BC Hydro Senior Account Manager. “We are achieving outstanding results thanks to everyone’s efforts. Congratulations to Island Health’s staff and energy management team.”

BC Hydro’s Top Ten Power Smart Partner ranking recognizes organizations that are committed to raising awareness and improving energy efficiency. The Power Smart Partner Program is dedicated to helping commercial, government and institutional organizations that spend more than $250,000 a year on electricity integrate long-term energy management into their day-to-day operations.

Island Health is recognized as a leader in energy management and conservation, and was awarded the prestigious Energy and Environmental Stewardship Award for 2013 by the Canadian College of Health Care Leaders earlier this year.