CEO message: Celebrating stewardship on Earth Day's 50th anniversary
During these past few months at MultiCare, we’ve been intensely focused on the health of our co-workers, families and communities. But today, as we join others around the globe in observing the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, I want to pause and reflect on the health of our planet and how intertwined it is with our own.
Indeed, as we’ve “stayed home to stay healthy” during the COVID-19 pandemic, the planet itself has become healthier. In many cities, the air is cleaner than it has been in decades, and scientists can actually feel the vibrations of the earth now that the rumble of transportation has quieted.
While we expect that life will eventually return to normal and cars will return to the roads, the impact of our temporary absence on the environment is a strong reminder of the responsibility we still have to care for our Earth.
Driven by our value of stewardship, MultiCare is committed to protecting the planet and to creating a positive environmental legacy for future generations as we operate and grow to better meet our patients’ and communities’ needs. As we mark this 50th Earth Day, I want to share with you how MultiCare is supporting sustainability with new programs and ambitious goals for resource conservation and waste reduction over the next several years.
Our organization has identified targets in four areas we believe will significantly mitigate our organization’s environmental impact.
By 2025, our goals are to:
- Reduce energy use by 10 percent over our 2015 baseline
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent over our 2015 baseline
- Divert 40 percent of our waste from landfills, while maintaining regulated medical waste levels
- Reduce water consumption by 10 percent from our 2015 baseline
These goals build upon great work already underway at MultiCare. Achieving them will involve every aspect of our operations and efforts by every part of our organization.
To help us hold ourselves accountable to these goals, MultiCare has become a partner in Earth Day Northwest 2020. Sponsored by Forterra, a sustainable development non-profit, this initiative invites businesses and community organizations to make a public commitment to their environmental goals in honor of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary. We will share our 2025 goals on the initiative’s website as part of our public commitment and will track our progress there for people to follow.
Recycling at MultiCare
Earth Day also gives me a great opportunity to announce the launch of MultiCare's first, system-wide recycling program, something we know is very important to our employees and that supports our goal to divert waste from landfills.
We will start with “back-of-the-house” locations first, including kitchens, loading docks and administration areas. Over the next several months we’ll install recycling bins in these areas for environmental services staff and others to use as they maintain our facilities. All facilities in both the Puget Sound and Inland Northwest regions will be included in the program, although recycling capabilities at each facility will be slightly different. Later in the year, we will begin expanding the recycling program to patient and public areas by deploying bins in cafeterias, coffee stands and waiting areas.
As MultiCare embarks on these efforts, I’d like to invite each of you to make your own personal commitment to environmental stewardship. Even while staying at home or social distancing, there are many ways to participate and get involved in Earth Day activities and beyond. You can find more information in this document about opportunities in both Puget Sound and Inland Northwest cities.
Thank you for your efforts to support the health of our communities by helping protect and preserve a healthy natural environment.
About The Author
Bill Robertson has served as MultiCare's President and CEO since May 2014. He came from Adventist HealthCare, Inc., based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Prior to Adventist, Robertson served as CEO of Shawnee Mission Medical Center near Kansas City, Kansas. More stories by this author