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Green Colorado 2014: Health care


DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc.

Kidney care services


DaVita operates or provides administrative services at 2,074 out-patient dialysis centers in the U.S., serving approximately 163,000 patients. DaVita reduced its facilities’ energy consumption by nine percent since 2010, by ensuring equipment is running full throttle. Eleven centers in the Northeast use energy management systems (EMS) to reduce consumption. DaVita has also driven a 14 percent reduction in water usage, saving 400 million gallons per year.

Recycling programs include toner and cell phones, and DaVita has an environmentally preferable procurement program. New programs for 2014 include piloting managed print systems to drive down overall paper use.

The EPA recognized DaVita for its sustainability initiatives, and DaVita is a member of the Business Roundtable’s Sustainable Growth and Climate RESOLVE initiatives to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the industry. Newsweek’s 2012 U.S. Green Ranking placed DaVita at number 209, up 33 spots from the previous year.

The company has set goals to reduce energy consumption by 15 percent, paper consumption by 20 percent, water consumption by 10 percent, and to increase environmentally preferable procurement by 10 percent by 2015. davita.com


Boulder Community Hospital



 Boulder Community Hospital (BCH) has long taken a comprehensive approach to sustainability. Its board of directors adopted the Statement of Principals in 1995, including: to support and encourage recycling of the materials used within the hospital, minimize waste and ensure that contaminated waste is disposed of in a safe and responsible manner.

BCH is striving to become a zero-waste facility and currently diverts 50 percent of waste from landfills. Recycled materials include: paper, plastics, alcohol, batteries, Tyvek envelopes and X-ray related supplies. There are non-disposable dishes and flatware in the cafeteria and xeriscaping in the outdoors areas. Employees also receive free ECO Passes. The hospital installed solar panels with Namaste Solar, and about 5 percent of BCH’s energy is renewable. Boulder Community Foothills Hospital, which opened in 2003, was the first hospital in the U.S. to achieve LEED (Silver) certification.

These efforts have saved BCH $750,000 a year in costs and avoidance. The hospital has won awards such as the 2006 Environmental Leadership Award from Hospitals for a Healthy Environment. bch.org


Littleton Adventist Hospital



Littleton Adventist Hospital, part of Centura Health, implemented its formal hospital-wide sustainability program in December 2008. By 2013, its electricity consumption had gone down 3 percent; meanwhile electricity rates were on the rise. The action saved Littleton Adventist $72,000 in 2013 and savings amounted to 200 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

The hospital also diverted 2,000 tons, or 62 percent of its total waste, from the landfill. The diversion efforts saved $360,000. The activities ranged from recycling paper, cardboard, fryer oil and other materials, to reusing prescription containers and reprocessing medical devices. Some items were donated to Project Cure and other nonprofits.

Littleton Adventist Hospital has reduced medical waste by 42 percent since 2005. The health care facility eliminated bottled water in the cafeteria and catering and replaced Styrofoam disposable ware with either compostable or recyclable disposables. It switched to bulk dispensers for paper towels, patient soaps and lotions, and hand sanitizers, and purchased unbleached paper supplies with recyclable content. There is now single stream recycling throughout the facility and composting in the kitchen and cafeteria. mylittletonhospital.org


Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center



Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center is an acute care, 234-bed hospital that opened in 2004. In 2011 the hospital achieved the Silver leader level in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Environmental Leadership Program, and in 2013 became a Gold leader. Among the hospital’s accomplishments was it increased its landfill diversion rate from 21 percent in 2012 to 25 percent in 2013. The facility recycles everything from cardboard and batteries to computers and X-ray film. Exempla Good Samaritan also reduced energy consumption by 8 percent, by using room occupancy sensors, energy efficient lights and ballasts, and other practices. The hospital uses xeriscaping, and reduced water use for irrigation by 15 percent. It’s also an Energy Star partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. exemplagoodsamaritan.org

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Maria Martin & Nora Caley

Maria Martin and Nora Caley are freelance writers.

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