In this section:
Texas Health incorporates energy efficiency into new building design, equipment, lighting and heating and cooling systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and utility costs. We conduct regular energy audits of our facilities to monitor consumption and identify reduction opportunities. While our overall system square footage has expanded over the past decade, these efforts are helping us to minimize impacts.
Additionally, we are measuring greenhouse gas emissions and will be identifying reduction strategies in the near future.
Due to continued systemwide expansion, Texas Health:
- Increased energy consumption by 1.9% and natural gas consumption by 8.3% compared to 2021.
- Revised its goal to reduce energy use per square foot by 1% due to continued systemwide expansion, which was nearly achieved by reducing energy use by 0.08%. However, due to efficiency projects completed since 2012, our energy consumption has only increased by 13.6% while our building footprint has grown by 26.02%. Additional energy data can be found in our Social Purpose Summary Report.
Water-efficient plumbing, irrigation and laundry systems allow Texas Health to conserve water, which is critical to sustaining North Texas as the population grows. The North Texas Healthcare Laundry Cooperative, of which we are a member, has reduced the amount of water required to clean one pound of linen from 2.26 gallons to 0.80 gallons, saving 41 million gallons of water annually. The cooperative also uses environmentally friendly cleaning materials that clean at lower temperatures, reducing energy consumption.
We routinely inspect and assess our water delivery systems to keep wastewater and stormwater discharges from exceeding local and state limits. We also monitor long-term water availability, restrictions, forecasts and storage capabilities.
- Conserved 53.26 million gallons of water in the last five years compared to our 2015 baseline water usage, enough to fill 80.66 Olympic-sized swimming pools. When normalizing our annual water usage to account for the square footage growth we have experienced since 2015, we conserved 379.39 million gallons of water, which could fill 574.61 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
- Revised its goal to reduce water use per square foot by 1% due to systemwide expansion, which was not achieved. We ended 2022 at 0.11%.
- Increased year-over-year water consumption by 7.5% due to system growth, missing our 5% reduction goal. Additional water data can be found in our Social Purpose Summary Report.
We conserve materials by buying less, reusing and recycling what we can, and responsibly disposing of what we must. We have established policies and protocols that reinforce the safe handling, storage and disposal of materials to comply with local laws and regulations.
A national waste disposal company trains our staff to properly manage medical and other hazardous waste. The company also removes chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other materials from our facilities in accordance with regulatory requirements.
- Named to the 2022 Texan By Nature TxN 20 list for our commitment to conservation for the fourth consecutive year.
- Recycled 1.93 million pounds of materials and cardboard. Additional waste data can be found in our Social Purpose Summary Report.
Texas Health’s collection and diversion of single-use devices from landfills helped the system earn Stryker’s Silver Environmental Excellence Award in 2022.
Texas Health recycles various devices such as pulse oximeters, harmonic scalpels, ECG leads and cables and more to avoid landfill waste. Through a program with the National Forest Foundation, we exchange recycled single-use devices for points toward tree planting. We diverted 71,753 pounds of these devices from landfills in 2022, resulting in the planting of 925 trees and the avoidance of $64,728 in disposal costs.
Additionally, we use reusable sharps containers to avoid single-use bins. According to Stryker, this alone allowed Texas Health to avoid generating an estimated 565,888 pounds of greenhouse gases, which is the equivalent of energy used in nearly 31 homes for one year.