Fourth year internal medicine and pediatrics resident Dr. Mike Kelly shaves his head after reaching his fundraising goal for the Boston Marathon.
For more than a decade, Mass General Brigham has focused on reducing energy use across its institutions including at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2014, five years before the city of Boston required businesses to demonstrate a reduction in emissions, Mass General Brigham began purchasing renewable energy from low impact hydroelectric facilities.
“We were passionate about sustainability this even before carbon reduction was a requirement,” says Dennis Villanueva, senior manager of Energy & Sustainability, Real Estate and Facilities at Mass General Brigham. “We have always recognized our responsibility to do no harm and believe we cannot allow our operations to hurt the planet or our local communities. Fortunately, we started early and have continued to make concerted efforts to move toward the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025.”
Mass General has played a major role in leading the system in the quest to become carbon neutral. Generating only 1.83 kilograms of CO2 per square foot in 2019, Mass General Hospital is one of the greenest hospitals in the Boston area. In comparison, the average of all other Boston health care facilities generates of 15.9 kilograms of CO2 per square foot.
Villanueva says the greenhouse gas emissions reduction was made possible thanks in part to the construction of an Mass General Hospital–owned pipeline completed in 2006, that interconnected the Boston steam system to the Kendall Cogeneration Station near Kendall Square. The plant supplies by–product green steam which Mass General Hospital uses to heat its buildings and for domestic hot water, process loads such as sterilization, in the kitchen, etc. Another large contributor to emissions reductions was the long–term purchase of zero emissions–green electricity from a 28.8–megawatt wind farm in Antrim, New Hampshire. Lastly, an important reduction in emissions resulted from Mass General Hospital’s energy conservation program which obtained a 40% reduction compared to a 2008 baseline. “We have had great success with these energy initiatives,” he says.
Additional recent energy–saving initiatives at the Mass General Hospital include:
- The replacement/retrofit of 3,000 lighting fixtures across the main campus to reduce C02 emissions by 283 metric tons–equivalent to avoiding 701,777 miles driven by a passenger car
- Several optimization projects at Charlestown Navy Yard–including heat pumps and chiller plant work–which are expected to reduce C02 emissions by 848 metric tons and 1.2 million kWh of energy savings
- The purchase of a sixth hybrid police cruiser
“We are a real leader in this space, and we plan to continue to do all we can,” Villanueva says. “It is our responsibility to fight climate change and we are looking forward to introducing future projects.”
- Oct | 1 | 2021
MGH urology medical assistant Alyssa Reilly’s hard work and dedication earned her a spot on the 2020 Team USA Paralympic rowing team, which won a silver medal in the Tokyo Games last August.
- Oct | 1 | 2021
Cindy Diggs, community and cultural engagement manager at Mass General, was named the 2021 Peace MVP by the Mass Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, honoring her dedication to being an activist for peace and economic security in Boston neighborhoods.
- Sep | 10 | 2021
“Each morning when we’d arrive at the police barricades, people would be standing there with pictures of their loved ones, asking us to look for them,” Susan Diehl says. “Hours later, after a hard shift when we were ready to get back on the shuttle bus, they were still there—waiting for word.”
- Aug | 20 | 2021
In 2020, Carr took up running to keep herself both physically and mentally active during the COVID-19 pandemic. She completed her first double digit run—10 miles—on Dec. 31. Six days later, after a routine checkup with her doctor, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Jul | 1 | 2021
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a group of students from Harvard Medical School—led by Dorothy Weiss Tolchin, MD, EdM, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Physical Medicine and...