Climate/Transportation initiative addresses our ongoing efforts to combat climate change. This initiative requires a multi-faceted approach and focus on such areas as fleet management, reducing fleet emissions, alternative fuel, and local sourcing. All of our healthcare sustainability initiatives play a role in reducing our carbon footprint and therefore assists us in effectively addressing climate change. Transportation contributes a large share of greenhouse gas emissions and is a key producer of air pollution. Decreasing emissions from transportation will improve air quality and community health. Our environment can truly impact the health of our patients, staff, and community. We continue to pledge to promote healthier communities both locally and globally, and to be an environmental leader in all aspects of our building and operations in a manner that protects the environment and human health.
- Investigate metrics for facility greenhouse gas emission tracking.
- Develop New Renewable Energy scope of work based on audit, will include solar and electric car charging stations.
- Investigate participating in purchasing energy credits.
- Investigate infrastructure projects to support the use of electric vehicles.
COVID has changes many aspects of our world. One small change is that we have greatly increased our telehealth and telework options. One small implication of those two changes is large avoidance of greenhouse gases that are associated with transportation to and from these appointments and commuting to and from work.
In 2021, we recorded 92,717 telehealth visits. If we presume that each visit was associated with one gallon of gas in a personal vehicle, and then use standard EPA estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with that gasoline use, telehealth avoided 375,000 pounds of CO2. Similar calculations can be made for the teleworking group and that portion can be associated with the avoidance of 298,000 pounds of CO2.
In 2021, Stony Brook partnered with the New York State power Authority to create a Renewable Energy Master Plan. The Renewable Energy Master Plan provides a detailed summary of recommended paths to achieving the renewable energy goals of New York State. In 2022, Stony Brook plans to implement these recommendations. One barrier to implementing onsite renewables the Cogeneration Plant that provides both power and steam to the campus and Hospital. The contract with the Cogeneeration Plant and Stony Brook are re-negotiating this contract and should have a solution in 2022.
Our data center managers have recognized the huge energy costs associated with cooling traditional data centers and have been working on reducing the energy costs for several year. At this point, they have reported successes in that they have created hot aisle containment, moving the heated air via the plenum to allow the existing air cooling units to more efficiently cool the servers. This is permitting them to reduce use of the cooling units by running fewer of them and keeping two of the available Air Conditioner units available for standby. We anticipate being able to quantify savings in 2022, when we are also looking to move the set point for temperature from 68 to 77F. This temperature change is supported by leaders in the field.
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) awarded SUNY Stony Brook (including Stony Brook University Hospitals) the Outstanding Commitment to Energy Efficiency award! The award recognizes NYPA customers for their leadership and innovation in advancing clean energy projects throughout New York State.
“SUNY Stony Brook was selected as a recipient of this award for its continued focus on energy efficiency across an extensive campus. Stony Brook completed three energy master plans with NYPA and identified an estimated $16.9M in annual costs savings. The campus has continued to grow while also achieving a 20% reduction in campus-wide energy use intensity (EUI) and meeting Executive Order 88. Stony Brook shows no sign of slowing down and is currently updating its energy master plans to identify new opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce emissions and upgrade critical infrastructure.”
Mike Cullen, Melissa Murphy, Jim Prudenti