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Agrace has set a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. We will do this by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, utilizing on-site renewable energy, purchasing green power, and offsetting the remaining emissions.
There’s a connection to healthcare.
Carbon emissions – particularly the burning of fossil fuels – result in global warming and climate change. These changes in our climate are tied to increasing risks to human health, including poor air quality, the spread of certain diseases carried by ticks and mosquitos, reduced food and water quality, and extreme weather conditions. Some of these changes, like extreme heat, can directly impact Agrace’s patient and client populations.
Agrace can make a difference!
In the US, about 40% of carbon emissions are attributed to buildings. As Agrace utilizes numerous physical locations, we have an opportunity to make a positive difference by reducing our carbon footprint. Being resourceful and sustainable is part of who we are at Agrace – it’s part of our values and The Essence of Agrace.
In addition to being the right thing to do, reducing our carbon footprint is a good business decision. This includes both intangible benefits, like employee recruitment and engagement, and financial savings that result from more efficient operations and reduced energy consumption.
Carbon footprints are calculated using an emission inventory. This inventory includes the three areas of focus below. When we add up all of the categories that make up Agrace’s carbon footprint, we get our total footprint: 4,730 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent.
Greenhouse gasses generated on-site (combustion of natural gas) and unintended emissions from equipment, leaks, etc.
At Agrace, this is largely the operation of our boilers to provide heat, but also includes hot water, generator operations, kitchen equipment, and a handful of other items.
Emissions that are generated by the production of electricity.
Agrace’s scope two emissions are calculated based on our electrical usage and the emissions produced in the creation of that electricity at power plants.
Emissions that are a consequence of the business, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the business.
For example: business travel, which includes miles driven by Agrace clinicians in the community, employees commuting to and from the office, and other similar items.
Agrace’s roadmap to becoming carbon neutral has six main components.
Identifying no-cost and short-payback opportunities to reduce energy consumption at Agrace facilities, while maintaining or improving each facility’s operations to achieve five- to 15 percent total building energy savings with a simple payback of less than two years.
Proactively replacing building components that are at or near the end of their useful life with new equipment that has been evaluated for energy efficiency.
Agrace is partnering with local utilities to participate in green power programs, which allow businesses to purchase locally generated power from renewable sources.
Agrace plans to “offset” emissions generated by the organization that cannot be immediately eliminated—by funding projects such as land restoration, forest management and methane capture.
Agrace will add a solar array to the roof of its Janesville facility that is expected to significantly reduce the amount of electricity drawn from the utility; Installation is scheduled before the end of 2022. Agrace is also evaluating a solar system for its Madison campus and expects to install it in 2023.
As old power grid technology is phased out and newer power plants are brought online, Agrace will see a reduction in our footprint. Agrace is also becoming more efficient in scheduling to reduce miles driven by staff and evaluating converting fleet vehicles to electric.
Agrace’s internally-focused initiative focuses on actions that aren’t required for carbon neutrality, but are tactile ways that employees can help support Agrace’s larger initiative. Efforts include recycling goals, sustainable purchasing and reducing or eliminating waste that we send to landfills.
Areas of focus:
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Agrace is partnering with Resource Innovations on the development of our Carbon Neutral strategy. In collaboration with Resource Innovations, we collected the data to measure our carbon footprint, this includes:
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