Sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In April 2006, the Quebec government ratified its Sustainable Development Act. All government departments, agencies and enterprises must respect the 16 major principles set out in this legislation. The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux also adopted an action plan to guide institutions in their daily management. The Montreal Heart Institute implemented a series of measures that are consistent with this major sustainable development movement.
An ambitious project to reduce CO2 emissions and our electricity bill.
The construction of 45 geothermal wells under the parking lots between 2010 and 2012 is a good example of sustainable development and energy efficiency at the Montreal Heart Institute. This ambitious $6-million project, which will pay for itself in 7 years, will reduce CO2 emissions by 3000 tonnes per year and our electricity bill by 40%. These reductions equal the annual pollution created by 800 cars on the road and the annual energy consumption of 260 average-sized homes, respectively.
Energy efficient fluorescent bulbs installed throughout the Montreal Heart Institute.
Fluorescent bulbs are particularly harmful for the environment as they are very energy-hungry and generally contain a gas that pollutes the atmosphere when the bulbs are accidentally broken. Energy efficient fluorescent bulbs were therefore installed throughout all of the Montreal Heart Institute’s new buildings, and they were even used to replace old bulbs wherever possible in the Institute's older facilities. Motion detectors were installed in the Research Centre expansion and offices so that the lights go off automatically when there is no one in a room.
Motion detectors in operating rooms have decreased our electricity bill.
To keep air in the operating room sterile during surgeries, the ventilation fans are always working at full blast. But do they have to run at night when the ORs are not being used? No, not at all. The installation of motion detectors, which stop the ventilation system after a certain period of inactivity, have considerably reduced electricity consumption, which is yet another way that the Montreal Heart Institute is contributing to sustainable development. The purchase of these detectors was fully funded by Hydro-Québec.
The Montreal Heart Institute takes part in a neighbourhood greening project.
A heat island is an urban area that is warmer than the surrounding area due to large surfaces that lack greenery and absorb energy from the sun. Since the MHI parking lot is one of the largest heat islands in Rosemont, the Institute decided to take part in a greening project launched by the Centre d'hébergement Marie-Rollet (a CHSLD), whose outdoor gardens extend along the MHI employee parking lot. Deciduous trees, evergreens and shrubs were planted on the CHSLD's grounds. Children who go to the MHI employee day care benefit from this new environment as much as the CHSLD's clients do. As a good neighbour and corporate citizen, the MHI contributed financially to this project through support from the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation.
The MHI installs thermostatic valves.
The installation of thermostatic valves on shower heads is yet another of the MHI's sustainable development measures. In accordance with the new regulation of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, all shower heads in the care units at the Montreal Heart Institute are now equipped with thermostatic valves. In addition to preventing accidents involving hot water, the thermostatic valves installed on shower heads at the ÉPIC Centre also help reduce hot water consumption and therefore save energy.
The MHI aims for “ICI ON RECYCLE” certification.
Recycling is probably the most well-known aspect of sustainable development. Like most organizations, companies and the general public, the MHI has a duty to recycle paper.
Knowing that every small act counts, the MHI gave its employees large mugs that they can have filled with coffee at the cost of a small disposable cup of coffee. This is great for both staff and the environment.
Children from Hochelaga-Maisonneuve have fun at the ÉPIC Centre.
Since social solidarity is another form of sustainable development, the ÉPIC Centre, in collaboration with the Fondation du Dr Julien, provides free access to its facilities to approximately 20 young people in the underprivileged neighbourhood of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Every Sunday, these youth improve their fitness through sports and swimming while having fun with the centre's instructors and kinesitherapists, who designed a sports activity program specifically for them.