When it comes to being green, Health Care, and supporting service organizations to the Health Care Industry, need to take a page from the Travel Industry.

Travelling serves as an excellent reminder to be conscious of environmental issues and consumption in general.  The amount of trash generated in one cross-Canada flight alone is disturbing, even though airlines are making concerted and very visible efforts to reduce the amount of waste they generate. Hotels have gotten the message as well, and you can’t get on the elevator without reading the hotel environmental policy and to please reuse your towels and linens.   The cynics amongst us like to think that this is all just “green” marketing.  The optimists say “So what?”  If marketing is what it takes to make us think about this issue, then so be it.

Hospitals, like hotels are actively trying to address this issue and are seeking ways to balance the critical need for cleanliness with the equally critical need to help ensure our planet remains fit for habitation.   But what about us – what can Excelleris do to reduce our environmental impact?
Part of Excelleris’ Health Care information distribution and access service includes generating and distributing printed materials on behalf of our customers.  Forests (and pine beetles) should fear Health Care. Our strategies to reduce the impact of just this one area of our business include investigating alternative fiber paper and working with our equipment suppliers to determine the tolerance for post consumer content papers. We also provide feedback to our customers regarding their utilization of paper.  Not unlike the horror of watching those big bags of trash get hauled out of the airplane, our customers are horrified to realize exactly how much printed material they generate.  Finally, we’re trying to encourage uptake of electronic information distribution channels over print.  It takes a little discipline and commitment but really, it is possible to review information electronically.  Think of the impact! No paper, toner or electricity consumed. No transport, no subsequent filing and no shredding and recycling. Even a small improvement, multiplied many times over can make a big difference.

So think about it next time you choose print. Do you really need to print that?