08/02/2010 // Riverdale, NJ, USA // Camfil Farr // Lynne Laake
Hospital sustainability isn’t just about protecting the environment. It’s about benefiting numerous stakeholders: employees, customers, the community, and society at large. In the healthcare industry, that means hospitals that don’t just use less energy and create less waste, but also improve the quality of care for patients, and the quality of life for all that spend time in the facility.
Done right, sustainability initiatives can achieve these goals – while also reducing costs. As healthcare sustainability experts Carrie Rich and Seema Wadhwa note in their article “People, Planet, Profit,” in Sustainable Healthcare and Hospital Development magazine, research has shown healthcare facilities that have embraced sustainability have seen lower long-term operation costs – the result of improved maintenance systems, increased hospital capacity, reduced staff sick days, and improved recruiting and staff retention advantages. Sustainability, in short, needs to be an integral part of daily business operations.
Today, the healthcare industry ranks as one of the planet’s greatest consumers of energy and other important – and increasingly scarce – resources. It also produces a vast amount of waste. So sustainability efforts can have a major impact, not only on an individual hospital, but on the world as a whole.
Where should a hospital looking to embrace sustainability start? An easy place to begin is with the products used within the hospital. Many traditional – and less sustainable – systems can easily be replaced with those that provide far greater ‘green’ benefits, along with significant cost savings.
Consider, for example, something as basic as a hospital’s air filtration system. Air filters are critically important to any healthcare facility. By removing harmful particles from the air, they keep airborne infections from spreading – no small thing in a hospital setting. But traditional air filters aren’t always as energy efficient – or as long-lasting – as they could be. Performance typically degrades over time, increasing the risk of infection. And beyond the cost of buying a new air filter, there is the cost of disposing of the old one. It all adds up – for the budget, for the toll on patients and staff, and for the impact on the planet.
That’s where a new generation of products come in designed from the ground up for sustainability. Air filtration systems developed by Camfil Farr, for example, use fine fiber media that provides high efficiency – and high air quality – throughout their service life. That means better performance, less waste, less energy used – and better results for all stakeholders.
Nor are the benefits insignificant. Hospitals using Camfil Farr clean air solutions have seen reduced HVAC energy costs – typically by 25 to 50 percent – along with less emissions into the atmosphere. And because green air filters are replaced less frequently, less product is ultimately sent to the landfill. Patients and staff, meanwhile, run a far reduced risk of acquiring airborne infections, as the air filters keep working at peak efficiency, instead of degrading over time.
In the end, perhaps the biggest upside to sustainability is that there is nothing but upside. Hospitals that embrace sustainability will reap one benefit after another. Hospitals that don’t will be woefully – and needlessly – left behind.
About Camfil Farr
The world leader in air filtration systems and clean air solutions – for health care and other industries – Camfil Farr provides the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections; all while lowering total cost of ownership. We’ve helped hospitals, office buildings, hotels, and other facilities go green without ever sacrificing performance. For more information about hospital sustainability, visit our newsroom at http://breakingnews.green-air-filters.com, and the Clean Air Solutions Company at http://green-air-filters.com, or call us at (toll free) 888.599.6620.
Address: 1 North Corporate Drive, Riverdale, NJ