beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Environmental Action Award Winners 2008

The Waterdrops - Winner 2008
BIDMC uses a staggering 80.6 million of gallons of water per year, which for the most part, goes to sewers. The cost for the water and sewer is just over $1 million per year. The project's goal was to reduce water consumption and cost without impacting patient care.

Using less water actually reduces the amount of pumping that needs to be done to the hospital, within the hospital, and at sewer lift stations. By changing the way in which wastewater is treated by the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, the hospital can reduce by 13% and that translates into not having to pump about 89 million pounds of fluid each year. That translates to significant electrical savings.

At a rate of $13.27 per gallon for water and sewer, the estimated savings for this project is $142,000 per year. A simple payback of less than one year.

The Vending Misers - First Runner Up 2008
The goal of Vending Misers was to reduce the energy wasted by beverage and vending machines without compromising the quality or temperature of the product. The energy saved reduces utility cost and air pollution.

Independent control units installed on beverage machines can save from 40 to 55% of the annual energy consumed by the machine. One beverage vending machine consumes around 4,500 kilowatt-hour per year (about the same as 8 household refrigerators). Using a passive infrared sensor the Vending Miser completely powers down the vending machine when the surrounding area is unoccupied for a period of time. Once powered down the equipment monitors the room temperature and re-powers the vending machine at one to three hour intervals to ensure the vended product stays cold. Twenty-one Vending Misers were installed (and five snack machine misers), thereby reducing electricity consumption by 50,000 kwh per year, the equivalent of seven average homes' annual electricity usage.

With the current average cost per kwh at BIDMC being 13.7 cents, the cost to operate just one beverage machine is about $600 per year. The Vending Miser dropped this to between $275 and $375 per year depending on the location of the machine. The total cost reduction for this project over ten years (including the installed cost) is about $68,725.

Roy Daley - Unsung Hero 2008

Each organization has its unsung heroes. People who do the right thing just because that is who they are and how they live their life. At BIDMC we are fortunate to have some who one stands out in terms of his quiet efforts to recycle things that come into the hospital in broken boxes, or are damaged, and mangled just enough so that they would not be considered primeā€¦

Many times throughout the year, BIDMC go on medical missions to underserved countries. Staff look for medical supplies that they can legitimately bring with them, as many of the countries do not have enough of the basics, like latex gloves, gauze, chucks, etc. Mr. Daley, collects such materials and keeps them in a small corner so that he always has something to contribute when the call comes through.