Seattle Children’s recently won the 2010 Practice Greenhealth’s Partner for Change With Distinction Award for its extensive green efforts.

“It is an honor to receive this recognition,” shared Mitch Birchfield, director of Environmental Services. “Our overarching goal is to be a great neighbor by promoting environmental practices and supporting our increasingly green culture dedicated to the health of patients, workers and our community.”

Here is a list of highlights showing many of Children’s green efforts in 2010 that led to this award:

• Children’s recycling program increased by 34%

• Children’s staff bicycled to work 439,000 miles (avoiding 71,000 vehicle trips and saving about $136,000 in personal vehicle costs)

• 34 tons of pharmaceutical waste were diverted from landfills and waterways

• 12 tons of compostable materials from the hospital’s main campus Operating Room were diverted from the solid waste stream

• 2,000 plants, trees and groundcover were salvaged from the Laurelon Terrace construction site

• At least $25,000 were realized in cost savings to propagate plants from existing plants/trees/shrubs

• 4.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by staff not driving alone to work

• 626 tons of mixed materials were recycled

Jeff Hughes, manager of Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship, believes it is all about sustainability as we look toward the future. “We’re pleased with the acknowledgement of our eco-friendly efforts,” he shared. “With the hospital’s master plan, we have to look at each phase of the growth process and find ways to incorporate green ideas into the plans. As part of this, we’ve planted more than 2,000 species and varietals of plants and trees from around the world that encircle the main campus and act as emotional therapy for patients, families and staff.”