Virginia Mason Medical Center is one of only 125 health care organizations in the nation to receive the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR certification for 2012.
The certification recognizes that five VM facilities in the downtown campus — the Lindeman Pavilion, the Health Resources Building, Central Pavilion, Jones Pavilion and Buck Pavilion — cost measurably less to operate while improving the quality of our environment, thanks to successful implementation of prudent energy management strategies. Buildings that earn the EPA's ENERGY STAR certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Of the three health care organizations in Washington state that are ENERGY STAR certified, VM is the only organization to receive certification for multiple buildings.
Only 125 health care systems in the nation have earned a place on the ENERGY STAR roster. Virginia Mason is the only health care provider in the Seattle area to earn ENERGY STAR certification, one of only three in Washington and the only health care provider in the state to have multiple buildings certified.
The push for energy efficiency is part of Virginia Mason's award-winning EnviroMason environmental stewardship initiative, a comprehensive sustainability program that has pioneered eco-friendly business practices in health care. The ENERGY STAR certification is the culmination of an effort that began in 1999 to retrofit and upgrade buildings with new energy efficient technologies that help reduce energy use and promote a cleaner environment, such as automated building system controls, hot water flow restrictors, lighting retrofits and steam valve upgrades.
The VM team contributed to successful certification by using less energy and employing VM Production System tools to help meet the certification requirements.
"This achievement exemplifies what our EnviroMason initiative is all about," said Sarah Patterson, executive vice president and chief operating officer. "We made a commitment when we launched EnviroMason several years ago that our vision to be the Quality Leader and transform health care extends to the environment. We want to be the best stewards of our resources and contribute to our community's sustainability."