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Earth Day Q&A with Greening Strategy Coordinator Eduarda Calado

Toronto, April 19, 2013

By Patricia Favre

Eduarda Calado
Greening Strategy Coordinator Eduarda Calado (Photo by Yuri Markarov)

Eduarda Calado has worked at St. Michael’s for 25 years. As the hospital’s greening coordinator, Calado has been a driving force behind the hospital’s environmental efforts.

With Earth Day coming up on April 22, we tracked her down for an update.


Q.  What is the hospital's biggest "green" accomplishment?


Wow.  There are so many accomplishments! If I have to narrow it down, I would say St. Michael’s being recognized with the award for social responsibility by the British Medical Journal.  Not only did we receive international recognition, it also recognized the role that greening plays within St. Michael’s mission and values.


Q. What is the hospital's next step in greening?


Improving our process to be sustainable and making this process imbedded in our daily work.  This starts with what we bring into the organization, how it’s used, how much energy it consumes and how it’s disposed of at the end of its life cycle. This is especially important with St. Michael’s 3.0.   


Q. How do you juggle your work with emergency management planning in addition to your role as greening strategy coordinator?

I am fortunate to work with great people who are all passionate about their roles.  The two roles allow me to work throughout the organization and meet staff of all disciplines – RTs, physicians, nurses, security, engineering, housekeeping etc.  This makes it easy to juggle the two roles. 


Q. What are two things that hospital staff could do to be more environmentally conscious at work?

  1. Act like you have to pay the electrical bill.  For example you don’t leave the lights on at home when you aren’t there – your electrical bill would be astronomical.  It’s important to think the same way when you’re at work - if you are leaving a room turn off the lights and other non-essential equipment such as the computer or radio.   The change in behavior ultimately reduces the impact health care has on the environment and saves the hospital money that in turn can go directly into patient care.
  2. Know your waste streams - regular waste, recycling and biohazard.  It doesn’t cost the hospital anything to recycle.  However, regular garbage and biohazard waste are very expensive.  Knowing what goes where will reduce the environmental footprint and save tax payer dollars.  In 2012, we diverted 40-45 per cent of waste from landfill – this is a great start, we can do better.

Q. What is your personal top environmental good habit and your worst environmental bad habit?

Recycling and turning off the lights are top.  You will often find me sorting through the waste and pulling out recyclable material or turning off lights.   Worst – this is embarrassing for the greening coordinator to admit.  I have too many shoes.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.