The system has also explored low-cost initiatives, such as designating drop-off and pick-up locations at 18 hospitals as idle-free.
“Here’s the entrance of a hospital or emergency room and you’ve got these vehicles … making the air pollution as bad as possible,” Garrick said. “That doesn’t need to be. All you have to do is turn off the vehicle.”
The conservation projects have helped Intermountain reduce its spending. Converting fluorescent lighting to LEDs has saved the organization 18,700 megawatts and more than $1 million annually.
Last April, the system replaced 19 acres of grass across five facilities with gravel, dirt and plants, saving 17.5 million gallons of water and $200,000 per year. It also planted five gardens to feed endangered monarch butterflies migrating through the region.
Within its hospitals and clinics, Intermountain is pursuing ways to reduce food waste, which often winds up in methane-generating landfills.
This year, system leaders are working with patients and clinicians to revamp the organization’s menu with healthy meals that get eaten. They send any remaining food waste to a local biodigester, which converts it into natural gas and fertilizer.