Going Green: Mercy Earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR Certification for Sixth Year

April 22, 2016

Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas recently earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR® certification for the sixth time, meaning the hospital uses less energy, is less expensive to operate and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than most other hospitals across the country.

“At Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, we are dedicated to energy conservation and being good stewards of our environment,” said Monty Lindsey, director of facility services at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. “Maintaining our resources and protecting our planet is vitally important to our future. We are lucky to have such great energy partners at Mercy and in the community.”

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Since Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas (formerly St. Mary’s Hospital) opened in 2008, the facility has received the ENERGY STAR designation six times.

To qualify as an ENERGY STAR facility, organizations need to achieve a score of 75 or better on a 100-point scale based on 12 months of energy-use data. Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas is currently rated an 85, meaning the hospital is ranked in the top 15 percent of U.S. hospitals for its energy efficiency.

The EPA estimates that ENERGY STAR facilities produce 35 percent fewer greenhouse gases and consume 35 percent less energy than their peers.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From boiler rooms to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

Since launching in 1992, the ENERGY STAR program has helped reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 billion metric tons and lowered utility bills by about $230 billion.

  • Energy efficiency efforts at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas include:
  • Turning lights and equipment off when not in use.
  • Purchasing energy-efficient equipment.
  • Using light sensors in areas with a lot of natural light so lights only come on when the natural light gets too low.
  • Installing motion sensors in places like bathrooms so lights go off when no movement is detected after a certain period of time.
  • Converting lights to LED bulbs that require less energy to operate.
  • Load shedding, which is where the hospital disconnects from the electric grid and uses generators to supply electrical power to the whole hospital during peak electrical times.
  • Making adjustments to the thermostat, such as setting the thermostat lower or higher (depending on the season) at night and scheduling on and off times.

In 2015, Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas saved about $240,000 in electric bills due to the hospital’s energy star rating and load-shedding efforts.

“By saving money on electricity, we are able to offer more health care services to meet the needs of our community,” said Eric Pianalto, president of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. “And, as a health care leader in the community, we are proud to also help protect our environment for future generations.”

Mercy is the seventh largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions annually. Mercy includes 45 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past twenty years, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.

 

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 

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