In recognition of Earth Day April 22, Yale New Haven Hospital has launched a campaign to remind employees about conserving energy at home and in the workplace, including hospital offices and facilities.

Using energy efficiently improves outdoor air quality, decreases acid rain and can enhance health by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to Practice Greenhealth, a national healthcare community organization committed to environmentally preferable practices, the energy needed to run commercial and industrial buildings in the United States produces 19 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, 12 percent of nitrogen oxides and 25 percent of sulfur dioxide, at a cost of $110 billion a year.

Practice Greenhealth emphasizes the importance of organizations such as YNHH tracking and measuring energy use to identify key areas of inefficiency and potential energy reduction strategies.

YNHH already takes steps to conserve and use energy efficiently, including using energy-efficient light bulbs and motion-detecting light sensors where possible, energy-efficient printers and heating and cooling systems and low-flow toilets and sinks. YNHH also uses variable speed drives on large electric motors – a significant energy saver.

"A conscious effort by employees, individually and collectively, to use energy as efficiently as possible can save money and contribute to saving the environment," said Cristina Indiveri, support services administrator, Environmental Services

Tips for reducing energy demands:
  • Unplug electronics such as phone chargers and laptops.
  • Turn off desk, office and common room lights at the end of the day.
  • Keep air vents clear of paper, files and office supplies.
  • Control heating and cooling in offices and conference rooms.
  • Minimize artificial lighting by using skylights and windows.