And the 2019 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award goes to…..
While we all know that going solar is good for the environment and the surrounding community and can help an organization save money, it’s always nice to be recognized for going the extra mile.
That’s just what happened to Carilion Clinic earlier this year. On March 28th, at the Environmental Virginia Symposium, Governor Northam awarded the hospital chain the Gold Award for Environmental Excellence, the state’s highest honor for organizations that help the environment.
The Efficiency and Sustainability Program at Carilion took home the gold for “improving the health and the environment of the communities it serves through programs at the Clinic’s facilities in Roanoke and beyond,” Northam’s press release stated.
Why did the Governor’s office notice Carilion? Part of the reason was the hospital chain’s leadership on solar power.
In 2017, their New River Valley Medical Center southwest of Roanoke had Secure Futures install a 1.6 megawatt single-axis, ground-mounted solar array. It’s the largest solar energy system on site at any hospital in Virginia and it also includes an innovative battery storage system.
Solar was part of a package of eco-friendly activities in Carilion’s Sustainability and Efficiency Program that included beefing up recycling efforts, buying more food from local farmers, and installing more energy-efficient lighting at multiple Carilion locations.
And that’s not all – going above and beyond their own facility care, Carilion Clinic has given back to their surrounding community by donating medical supplies like a face mask for each person involved, disposable gloves, anti-bacterial wipes, and other precautionary supplies, also sponsoring a community bike-share program, and funding an urban farm.
“These award winners come from all regions of the Commonwealth, represent a variety of organizations including local government, healthcare, and industry, and share a strong dedication to improving our environment for the benefit of all Virginians. I applaud this year’s winners for their leadership and innovation, and look forward to their partnership as we work together to address our most urgent environmental challenges, protect Virginia’s valuable natural resources, and enhance the quality of life in our Commonwealth.”Governor Ralph Northam
Learn more about the other 2019 Environmental Excellence Award recipients here.
Need more Environmental Excellence in your Hospital, School or Company?
This week there’s a unique opportunity for anyone who’s interested in helping their organization go solar to tour Carilion’s history-making solar array — and then visit a local brewery for solar conversation and networking afterwards.
And the best news is that it’s all free and open to the public.
This Thursday, May 16 at 12 noon, join us in Roanoke where a bus will take you in comfort to the Carilion New River Valley Clinic to tour the solar array. You’ll hear why Carilion thought it was so important to go solar when they did and how it has worked out for them since. You’ll even learn the secret to cutting the grass around the solar panels in the most eco-friendly way (hint: it involves cute critters).
After the tour, you’ll get back on the bus to return to Roanoke and Three Notch’d Brewery to discuss solar and sustainability over a brew on the house. We’ll get you back to your car at 5pm. Seats on the bus are limited, so RSVP now to reserve your spot (and drink tickets!) and join us on Thursday, May 16th.
And if you are a healthcare engineer, you can hear more about Carilion Clinic’s solar array by attending this week’s Virginia Society of Healthcare Engineers (VSHE) Conference, as we co-present “A Year in Review” of Virginia’s largest hospital solar tracker with the Carilion Clinic on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019.