UnityPoint Health – Meriter Green Team
We not only care for the health of you and your family, we care for the health of our environment. As part of our mission to serve the community, we feel it's our responsibility to use environmentally friendly practices every day. Our designated Green Team has made a number of changes to our hospital and clinics to address the growing issue of environmental health. Through their efforts, UnityPoint Health – Meriter hospital and clinics are better for the environment and our patients.
Reducing Water Usage
In 2010, Meriter installed several "Green Machines" to reduce the amount of water used for heating and cooling the hospital. These machines eliminate the need for softener salt by using electricity to remove water hardness. The results:
- 140 tons of softener salt has been spared from entering the waste water stream. This salt is a pollutant in high concentrations.
- Our water consumption has reduced by an estimated 5,000,000 gallons per year.
Small changes like these can truly lead to big results in terms of overall sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Meriter has been active in its efforts to lower its electricity demand. To help reduce energy usage and air pollution, Meriter slashed its lighting consumption by almost 374,000 kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power 33 homes. This reduction has stopped 582,000 pounds of carbon dioxide-equivalent gas from entering the atmosphere.
How was this accomplished? We changed out older, less efficient light bulbs/fixtures and replaced them with more efficient lights. In addition, sensors were installed to harness daylight and shut lights off in unoccupied rooms.
Meriter recycles paper and cardboard used in our hospital and clinics. In 2012, we recycled over 133 tons of cardboard and 94 tons of paper products. By some estimates, these contributions have spared 3,870 trees from being cut down, conserved 2,040 cubic yards of landfill space, and kept over 10,000 gallons of oil from being used.
LEED Certified Clinics
As Meriter continues to grow, our newest buildings have been built using LEED standards (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) to promote environmental sustainability. We are proud to have two LEED certified clinics: UnityPoint Health - Meriter - DeForest-Windsor and UnityPoint Health - Meriter Monona.
Earth Friendly Construction
Meriter regularly remodels sections of the hospital to improve patient care, visitor experience and facility performance. We are committed to making these renovations a win-win for both our patrons and the planet they live on. When we remodel:
- Energy efficient light fixtures are installed.
- Heating and air conditioning equipment is serviced and/or upgraded.
- Insulation is improved, contributing to lower energy costs.
In addition, Meriter donates old furniture and building materials to charities such as Habitat for Humanity. In 2012, 100 tons of materials from our remodeling projects were recycled.
In order to engage and educate patients, employees and the community about our sustainability efforts, our Green Team creates Green News articles to report on past and current initiatives keeping our environment healthy. Readers can also learn how they can live greener outside of Meriter.