7 ways Providence contributes to a healthier planet

Healthy communities depend on a healthy planet. That’s why Providence is committed to respecting and caring for the environment around us. We are blessed that the people who choose to work for Providence share a passion for protecting Mother Nature and leaving the earth better than we found it for future generations.

I invite you to view and download this infographic to learn how Providence and our caregivers are creating more sustainable communities to achieve our two larger goals of reducing energy consumption by 30 percent by 2025 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

I also want to stop and celebrate seven successes that helped us become greener in 2015:

1. Our waste recycling program in Oregon, which employs people with disabilities, sorts 5,400 pounds of materials daily.

2. Providence St. Peter Hospital in Southwest Washington state has reduced water usage by almost 60 percent over the last 17 years.

3. The Green 4 Good program at Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Mont., is a mature, multiple award-winning program that has delivered cost-saving measures totaling almost $1 million in annual savings.

4. Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif., uses reclaimed water from the City of Burbank to run its air conditioning system, saving 15 million gallons of water annually.

5. Providence Senior and Community Services is underway with several projects to retrofit housing facilities and install solar panels, including a $3 million renovation project at Providence House Oakland.

6. Sustainability programs in Northwest Washington state have saved 192,319 pounds of food waste and 96 tons of general waste (or 18 elephants worth of general waste).

7. In Walla Walla, Wash., Providence St. Mary Medical Center has a vegetative rooftop that was recognized at a global conference on green roofs. You can learn more in this YouTube video.

How do you care for the environment? Share your stories.

These seven examples only scratch the surface. I know many of you are doing even more for the environment both in your personal life and as a team. What are you doing to create a healthier planet? Let’s celebrate Earth Day and inspire one another to live more sustainably by sharing your stories in the comments below.


The Mother Joseph Farm at our system office in Renton is another example of how our caregivers are working toward a healthier planet. Providence caregivers volunteer in this garden where they grow organic vegetables  for a nearby food bank.

  1. I make sure I do my best to recycle as much as possible. Whatever I bring to work, such as pop bottles and cans, I take home with me and place them in my recycling bin. I make a trip about once a month to our local recycling center. I’m still trying to get in the habit of taking my own shopping bags with me when shopping, but its a work in progress.

  2. When I’m in our Portland area, I generally prefer to take the light rail to the office vs drive. It’s just 2 blocks away from the POP2 building and super convenient. Last week on the Friday ride home, I ran into a couple of our caregivers and we got to connect and catch up – what a fun and earth-friendly way to go! Thanks for the transit passes, Providence!

  3. Two of my five grandchildren have been born in Providence Alaska Medical Center’s new Maternity Center, Alaska’s first LEED-certified hospital building. LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, built and certified using methods such as sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

  4. Honeybees — essential for cross-pollination of such crops as almonds — are not always thriving in polluted and chemical environments. I am working with a 4-H leader in Los Angeles County to establish “incubator” apiaries on vacant lots in the County; (a) Property owners can now apply for property tax relief upon dedicating the lot for beekeeping use for 5 years, (b) new hobbyists don’t need to begin in their backyard — though they may eventually move colonies there under a recent City ordinance, and (c) agricultural and food benefits will accrue.

  5. In Palmer, Alaska, we have a large recycling center so I can sort my waste and deliver it to them for management. I also carry bags with me when I walk along the Matanuska river and pick up any debris or trash I find. I have also started buying smarter by reducing packaging and plastics in the products I buy. I buy locally grown produce and meat when possible to reinforce to local economy.
    We’re a small town of 6,000 but I believe I can make a difference in little ways that impact the way we manage our resources.