Beaumont Health System Sets Standard for Sustainability in Detroit

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By: Ted Spicer, Account Director, Jones Lang LaSalle 

Today’s leading businesses are working towards more environmentally friendly operations. Here at JLL, we are advocates of a “green” workplace. In fact, JLL was recognized among the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute in 2013. By educating and advocating for sustainable practices, companies can positively impact the environment, while they simultaneously attract and retain quality employees.

This post is the first in a series, based on Perspectives on Sustainability and Healthcare, spotlighting Beaumont Health Systems’ sustainability initiative in Detroit. 

Spotlight: Beaumont’s “Green Team”

In recent years, Detroit-based Beaumont Health System set out to create a more sustainable environment. In partnership with JLL, Beaumont established a Green Committee of key office influencers to identify green opportunities within the company. As part of the initiative, Beaumont invested in energy- and water-reducing equipment and fixtures, as well as recycling and process related green improvements.

The goal of the Green Committee was to convert 14,000 employees into active participants in Beaumont’s sustainable workplace. Those appointed to the Green Committee were responsible to serve as a leader for their colleagues. They were asked to perform special duties, such as:

Photo courtesy of Beaumont Health System

  • Become a role model for green behaviors.
  • Use reusable mugs and bottles.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Power down computers and printers.
  • Recycle paper, plastic and cardboard.
  • Take green practices home.

Through active pursuit, Beaumont’s Green Committee grew from 20 officers to 500 officers from all departments within each hospital.

According to GreenBiz.com, when employees feel their work is contributing to a good cause, they “are naturally motivated to work hard and innovate.” If employee engagement is a top priority among companies, and sustainability efforts attract employees, it would make sense for companies to consider establishing their own environmental programs to increase employee engagement.

Below, I’ve included five tips to help you establish and maintain your own group of internal sustainability advocates, inspired by Beaumont’s Green Committee:

1. Identify key influencers within the company and schedule regular meetings to discuss sustainability plans each month.
2. Organize bimonthly Town Hall meetings and encourage members of the community to actively participate.
3. Initiate consistent communication or brainstorming among key influencers through regular e-blasts.
4. Develop an ongoing blog to educate and encourage sustainability participation throughout your community.
5. Establish a green approach to all new construction, remodeling and retrofitting.

While reviewing the value of the sustainability program, Beaumont’s CFO called energy savings “free money,” and also noted that the program results in “bottom line savings without impact to patients, employees, or service levels.” The positive environmental impact is an added benefit.

To read the full report on Beaumont Health System’s sustainability initiatives, download the full Perspectives on Sustainability & Healthcare White Paper.

Have questions on how to tactically plan a sustainability initiative for your office? Contact me for more information at spaces@am.jll.com 

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About the Author

TedSpicer_headshotTed Spicer is a Senior Vice President in the Healthcare Solutions group for JLL. He is also the account director and client relationship manager for the Beaumont Hospitals account. With more than 11 years of healthcare real estate experience, Ted is responsible for delivering world class facilities and real estate services to Beaumont’s acute care hospital portfolio of 9.1M square feet.

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