Good Help for a Better Planet
Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. - Chief Seattle
It is our calling to partner with our communities to co-create a more humane world, improve health and model social justice. As part of this calling it is important to demonstrate sustainable stewardship for healing the earth. As earthly beings, taking care of the earth, we improve the health and quality of life.
View Our Green Team Scrapbook to see all of our latest accomplishments!
Here at St. Francis, we have established an environmental committee who is designing, implementing and managing environmental sustainability initiatives.
Our Green Vision
By 2012, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System will be distinguished for ecological stewardship in the Greenville community through a cultural transformation that fulfills our responsibility to Gods creation and each other in generations to come.
Conduct a comprehensive green self-assessment for all local sites
Implement a waste management plan
10% documented increase in recycling and use of reprocessed item
Develop a sustainable energy management plan (SEMP)
Develop green initiatives related to promoting healthier communities and ecological stewardship
St. Francis earned the National Practice Greenhealth Environmental Leadership Circle Award for three years in a row (2011-2013). This is the highest environmental achievement award presented by Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization for health care facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations.
Snapshots of Success
- St. Francis is the first health system in South Carolina to be acknowledged as an Energy Star partner. Every piece of equipment purchased for the hospital must have an Energy Star rating. An example of how this helps energy reduction: by replacing the boiler at ST. FRANCIS downtown with an Energy Star boiler, energy costs went down $300,000 in one year.
- First planting of the St. Francis Community Garden on April 25, 2009. The garden has a series of 16 raised plots on which churches, non-profits and community residents can grow their own produce.The Community Garden also has established an internship for environmental studies students at Furman University.
- Supporting City of Greenville in Plan-it Greenville
- Creating educational programs in composting
- As part of a Styrofoam Waste Reduction Initiative, each St. Francis employee has received a free, naturally biodegradable travel mug to use for free tea and coffee in the cafeterias. The estimated annual impact of this switch will be a savings of $5,757 or 312 less cases of foam cups per year. At 500 cups per case, thats an amazing reduction of 156,000 Styrofoam cups per year!
- During 2009 Earth Week, St. Francis employees generously donated 581 pounds worth and 421 pairs of shoes to Soles 4Souls, which oversees the donation of shoes to more than 300 million children worldwide.
- St. Francis Food Services buys more locally grown produce, including organic produce, and is exploring oil-less fryers.
- $784,000 saved in energy costs over the past two years; based on Energy Star’s calculations this equals nearly $16 million in revenue.
- Through Energy Star’s water efficiency program ST. FRANCIS eastside saved 8.3 million gallons of water by removing two medical vacuum systems.
- Power reduction: $20,000 annual saving through innovative power use, receiving designation from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering’s (ASHE) Energy Efficiency Commitment (E2C) program; ASHE is a membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA).
- Using smarter chiller operations, ST. FRANCIS eastside can operate without a chiller for two months out of the year, and ST. FRANCIS downtown runs only one of its two chillers five months out of the year.
- St. Francis is removing outdated incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and replacing them with energy efficient versions. In addition, light sensors are being phased in for public restrooms, conference rooms and offices.
- Temperature control operations are monitoried daily to ensure that the facilities stay at a comfortable temperature and avoid different areas heating while other areas are cooling.
- Implemented a system-wide “Mercury-free” purchasing policy
- Biodegradable eco mugs given to employees and sold to visitors with free tea/coffee refills.
- Outdoor lighting is powered by photocells or astronomical digital time clocks.
- Recycling of total waste improved by 28% by adding new items to recycling program.
- Number of recycled items increased from 4 to 25 in the first year of the program.
- 2.336 tons waste prevented in single-use device processing, a savings of $134,000.
- Guest Services employees wear suits made in part from recycled plastic bottle “fibers”—each suit contains the plastic of about 25 bottles.
- The on-site Worm Farm at the St. Francis Community Garden converts 599 lbs. of Food Services’ trim waste into compost for the garden.
- Proceeds from the sale of “Worm Tea” liquid fertilizer—a by-product of the worm composting—is invested into the Community Garden.
- Farmers Markets offering fresh, South Carolina produce at each hospital
- Internal Catering replaced foam and plastic with reusable tableware, reducing foam/plastic usage by 2000 cups, 3,000 plates and 1,000 each of knives, forks and spoons.
- 3.96 tons waste prevented through a reusable sharps container program, a savings of $10,000.
- Upcycling or repurposing batteries saved more than $15,000 in 2010.
Tips for Being Green
You may be inspired to become utilize more eco-friendly products and efforts to go green. So, what can you do?
- The whole family can make the effort to go green! Check out these tips on getting your kids involved.
- By making simple changes in our everyday lives, we can all be good help for a better planet. EarthShare provides free green lifestyle tips, to help implement simple changes into your daily routine.
- Plant a home garden to grow your own herbs and vegetables.
- "Slow Food" is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
- Ride the Green Link, your link to public transportation in Greenville. It's more environmentally friendly because it conserves gas and helps reduce fuel emissions because of less cars on the road! Another option is to start a carpool with neighbors and/or co-workers.
Stories from the Green Council
Diana McPhillips Lives the Green Life
Whats it really like to live a green life? Ask Green Council member Diana McPhillips, Outpatient Pediatric Physical Therapist at ST. FRANCIS downtown.
She and her husband, Michel Bayne, live on what they refer to as the farmette near Travelers Rest with 20 hens, one Rhode Island Red rooster named George, six baby chicks (with more on the way), four cats and two dogs. Just outside their door, there is a 15 x 30 pesticide-free vegetable garden, with beets, lettuce, green beans, zucchini, squash and lots of herbs.
But for Diana, being a good steward of the planet goes beyond farm animals and gardening.
So much of what we do revolves around recycling and a bit of thoughtful consideration, said Diana. We use chicken manure to compost the flower and vegetable gardens. Water for the pets or garden comes from the well or collected rainwater. Kitchen scraps go to the chickens or compost bin.
She has a recycle area in the laundry room. Every appliance in their home is Energy Star rated, plus they use fluorescent bulbs and rechargeable batteries. Diana enjoys driving a hybrid car now, but plans for their next vehicle to be an electric car.
Her husband is a potter utilizing recycled clay and broken pots for his creations. Ashes from the wood-fired kiln or their wood stove are components for glazes. He has made garden furniture out of vines and old wood. Recycled bricks from the old Poe Mill are in his kiln area and were also used to build two patios at their house.
Dianas words of wisdom for going green? A bit of thoughtfulness for our environment goes a long way; more goes even further, she said. Our Earth sustains usit really is our responsibility to do our part and be connected.