Below is an article from GreenLink, a free, electronic newsletter distributed by the Premier Safety Institute to bring you the latest news, resources, and cost-saving success stories in green purchasing and healthcare practices. The article talks about Lexington Medical Center’s transition to recycled paper and the impact it has made.
“Every day we make decisions about what we purchase, consume and recycle.
Nearly a quarter (20 percent) of a typical hospital’s office supply budget is spent on paper alone. So it is no surprise that cost-conscious hospitals watch paper expenditures closely.
Purchasing recycled paper is beneficial to the environment, yet many healthcare organizations hesitate using it because it is slightly more expensive (typically 6 percent to 8 percent) than virgin, or non-recycled paper.
With the help of Premier contracted supplier OfficeMax, Lexington Medical Center, West Columbia, SC, found a way to purchase recycled paper while cutting costs.
The hospital decided to switch to OfficeMax and Boise® ASPEN® 30 percent post consumer fiber paper, purchasing 87 tons of it from October 2007 through October 2008. At the same time, the hospital switched to Office Max branded remanufactured toner cartridges. Even after factoring in the slight additional cost for the paper, Lexington realized an overall savings of $5,000.
Moreover, the environmental benefits of switching to recycled paper and remanufactured toner cartridges meant that.
• The equivalent of about 626 fewer tress were used;
• The equivalent energy needed to run five homes was saved; and
• More than 55,000 pounds of carbon dixoide, or equivalent of about what five cars per year would use, would not be emitted as greenhouse gases.”
The recycled paper is one of several green initiatives at Lexington Medical Center. Lexington Medical Park 2 is the first medical office building in South Carolina to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Parts of the building were constructed with recycled materials and there is attention to air and water quality. In addition, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control named Lexington Medical Center its “Outstanding Air Quality Business of the Year” in 2008.