Environmental sustainability at Michigan Medicine: Facts, figures and tips

April 26, 2023  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

Efforts to raise awareness of ways to improve planetary health at Michigan Medicine and at home continue daily. Below, find facts, figures and helpful tips on what the organization is doing to build awareness and what each of us can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and Earth’s carbon footprint.

Kahn Pavilion positioned to achieve LEED certification

Michigan Medicine’s newest patient care facility is currently under construction with carbon neutrality and environmental sustainability in mind. The D. Dan and Betty Kahn Health Care Pavilion is set to open in fall 2025, with an environmental goal to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest level for energy efficient design. The Kahn Pavilion will exceed Michigan Energy Code efficiency targets by approximately 20%.

Here are some other exciting facts about the planned, positive environmental impacts of the new hospital:

Save energy, and money, at home!

There are several ways to reduce energy use in your home. One of the easier ways is by using LED bulbs, which reduce energy use by 90% when compared to incandescent bulbs. By using less energy, consumer costs will also be reduced. Here are some other helpful tips:

Ditch single-use plastic water bottles

Americans send more than 38 billion water bottles to landfills every year, the equivalent of 912 million gallons of oil. That means that 1,500 plastic bottles are thrown away every second of the day. Worst still, 90% of plastic bottles used aren’t even recycled and end up in landfills across our planet, sitting there and taking around 1,000 years to degrade.

Plastic bottles that don’t end up in landfills end up polluting our oceans, killing our environment, injuring, and killing marine animals. It’s believed the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” covers a surface area of 620,000 square miles (about twice the size of the state of Texas).

Consider eating less meat

Food accounts for 10-30% of a household’s carbon footprint, typically a higher portion in lower-income households. Furthermore, meat accounts for nearly 60% of all food production related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To decrease your household’s impact on the environment and if your dietary restrictions allow, consider reducing your consumption of meat and increasing your plant-based food intake.

Why should I recycle?

What can I do?

Did you know…

Here are some items U-M Health recycles that you may not be aware of:

Watch for future Headlines articles and other communications about the Environmental Sustainability & Carbon Neutrality program initiatives and progress. In the meantime, visit the Environmental Stewardship website. If you have suggestions or ideas on how climate change can be addressed more effectively at Michigan Medicine, please email headlines@med.umich.edu.