The Petal Project
Finley Hospital is now Petal Certified. It was the first of 10 Dubuque businesses to complete all five certification requirements through the Petal Project, a green business certification program.
Each area has required and optional criteria. Once the criteria for one area is completed, a business will receive one leaf of the Petal Project logo and continue to work toward full certification, or all five petals.
The Finley Hospital was notified by Candace Eudaley, Assistant Executive director of East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA) that Finley had achieved requirements in all five categories to become the first in the Tri-State area to become fully "Petal Certified."
The Petal Certfication requires benchmarked success in:
|Water Conservation||In the last five years, Finley has reduced water usage by 16,329,000 gallons per year.|
|Energy Conservation||Gas usage reduced by 4,986 MMBTU per year. Electric usage reduced by 2,040 KWH per year despite an increase in quantity of equipment that requires electricity.|
|Pollution Prevention||Finley is using 30% recycled paper, converting to fuel efficient vehicles, eliminating Styrofoam from cafeteria and using utensils made from plants as well as recently completing an employee survey.|
|Waste Reduction||Nearly half of the total waste at Finley is now recycled including paper, cardboard, metal and batteries. Finley has active interdepartmental reuse of items ranging from office supplies to furniture.|
|Education||Employee environmental education offered at orientation and monthly updates to management team.|
By The Numbers
Summary of Finley Hospital/VNA Solid Waste Generated and Recycled in 2010
|Confidential paper documents (PHI - Shredded)||29.2 tons (recycled)|
|Medical Waste (Regulated - Processed at Company)||28.6 tons*|
|Sharps Waste (Regulated - Processed at Company)||5.5 tons*|
|Food Waste||7.8 tons**|
|Trash (Dumpsters)||229.3 tons|
|Cardboard (Baled)||62.4 tons (recycled)|
|Paper, Plastic, 5% Metal and 5% Glass (Comingled Container)||45.5 tons (recycled)|
|Metal Taken Directly to Scrap Dealer||0.7 tons (recycled)|
|Total Waste Generated||409.5 tons|
|Total Waste Recycled||138.3 tons|
|% of Unregulated Waste Recycled||37%|
|Actual Waste Sent to Dubuque Landfill||229.3 tons|
|% of All Waste Generated Sent to Dubuque Landfill||56%|
|* not included in calculation of % waste recycled as these are regulated and processed at the company and are subtracted from overall waste generated total, leaving 375.4 tons of waste recycling opportunities.
** scraps ground up in garbage disposals and handled by sanitary sewer system.
Note: Thanks to Republic Services in helping to determine some of these numbers.
How Finley Reached Its' Goal
To reach Petal Certification, Finley provided documentation on many conservation initiatives already in practice at Finley in addition to implementing environmental education, green product use and by purchasing new equipment to meet certification requirements. "The environmental impact we have realized due to our sustainability initiatives has far exceeded our expectations.
In the past 5 years, Finley water usage has dropped from 33, 406,500 gallons per year to 17, 077,500 gallons per year with an average savings per month of 1, 361, 000 gallons," states Jack Ditmar, Finley Director of Materials Management and leader of the Green Team at Finley. "Finley has also decreased the use of natural gas over the past 5 years by 4,986 MMBTU per year and decreased electric usage over the past 5 years by 2,040 KWH per year despite an increase in the number of pieces of equipment that require electricity." "There is still more we can do" he said.
Finley has also begun converting their vehicle fleet to fuel efficient ones. A recent partnership with the Iowa Waste Exchange allowed Finley to recycle warehoused items that would otherwise have likely gone to a scrap dealer such as lockers and tables that went to a children's summer camp, and additional opportunities with the Exchange will be utilized in the future. In addition, Finley purchases 30% recycled copy paper, at the same cost as previously purchased virgin paper, and since they go through 21 pallets a year, this will have a very positive environmental impact.
All these initiatives translate to substantial dollar savings." To complete the education petal, Finley recently completed an online transportation survey in which employees commented on their current and potential use of public transportation and carpooling.
Solid Waste Reduction
See what Finley is doing in terms of solid waste reduction for our community. 2010 Summary
About the Petal Project
The Petal Project is a voluntary program for regional green business certification. This program provides a simple framework for businesses that are interested in saving money, energy, water, resources, etc, and enhancing their brand and customer loyalty through sustainability initiatives.