Sustainability at UHN

UHN green logo imageWe've been proudly green for over two decades! Led by the Energy and Environment department, we breathe life into the motto "UHN: Practicing Patient and Planet Centred Care". We've won awards for our groundbreaking programs, and we put concern for the environment right into how we care for and treat patients.

Here's just some of what we do:

Energy Management Program – With our TLC – Care to Conserve energy management program, UHN combines raising awareness, changing behaviours and installing more efficient equipment. This saves energy and reduces the Green House Gas (GHG) emissions that worsen Climate Change. Projects include Deep Lake Water Cooling (saving energy and water!), Building Automation Optimization, LED lights, energy-efficient chillers, a cool roof and a green roof. A special mention for the Noventa WET system in development at Toronto Western Hospital. It will be the world's largest raw wastewater energy transfer system, saving so many GHGs, it will be like taking 1,800 cars off the road!

Green Team – Guided by the Energy & Environment team, over 700 staff across UHN volunteer a little time to bring sustainability to their areas, helping their colleagues conserve energy, waste less, recycle better and more.

Medical Equipment Donations – Working with Operation Green and other organizations, we collect surplus medical equipment and supplies to give to communities that need them.

Recycling & Composting – We have a long-running and successful recycling and composting program that saves over a third of our waste from landfills and costs less than sending waste to landfills. That's green environmentally and financially.

eWaste – In health care and everywhere, we're seeing more electronic waste like computers, medical equipment, printers, toner and batteries. We have several programs to recycle it ethically so that future generations aren't stepping over a mountain of old cartridges.

Clean commuting – As burning fossil fuels by driving is a top cause of Climate Change, UHN encourages cleaner and climate-saving alternatives. In cycling, we have many secure bike parking zones including the new Bike Vault with indoor capacity for 126 bikes, a large Bicycle User Group, and a staff discount for Bike Share Toronto. Fifty-four electric vehicle charging stations help drivers switch from gas to zero-emissions vehicles. And our carpool matching program connects staff to share a ride.

Green Cleaning and Maintenance Products – UHN uses more and more eco-certified green alternatives, which helps protect our staff, patients and visitors from toxic chemicals.

UHN Food Garden – Several gardens around UHN help patients, staff and food systems in groundbreaking ways (pun intended). The Michener Institute planted UHN's first Indigenous Healing Garden. Toronto Rehab Institute boasts the GROW garden, Garden Rehab On Wheels, a wheelchair-accessible garden used for patient rehabilitation and staff engagement. Pollinator-friendly gardens keep the bee and the butterfly populations booming and blooming.

KDT – The Krembil Discovery Tower, a world-class research centre, was built with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification Standards in mind. LEED is the gold standard in measuring human and environmental health.

A Year in the Life – For everything we've been up to last year, have a look at our latest annual report.

Talkin' Trash with UHN – Our blog featuring free-range, organic ideas from around UHN:

We're also on Twitter and Facebook. Join the community!

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