Businesses reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Rochester

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – As the city of Rochester works to become more eco-friendly, one of its biggest employers is following suit.

All of Mayo Clinic Health Systems, including its Rochester campus, are joining the Better Climate Challenge. The U.S. Department of Energy is helping businesses and organizations, like the Mayo Clinic, reduce it’s greenhouse gas emissions.

For the past several years, the Mayo Clinic has been working to reduce its carbon footprint, and more recently, its sustainability crew is growing even bigger.

”We have a green committee structure in place, so we have an enterprise green committee of leaders across the organization that represent a variety of different departments that help guide our strategy,” Mayo Clinic sustainability director Amanda Holloway said.

Healthcare is responsible for nearly nine percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., according to Health Affairs.

”Hospitals generate more than one third of those emissions,” Holloway said.

By 2032, the medical giant plans to have reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent, and the city of Rochester is on board with this goal.

”Mayo owns and operates a lot of square footage in town. They’re a major employers. Some of the spaces that they operate has some fairly high energy intensity,” Destination Medical Center director of sustainability and housing Kevin Bright said. “It’s a huge environmental commitment and something we should all be proud of.”

Rochester sustainability leaders offer a number of resources and support for other businesses that would also like to instill some more eco-friendly practices.

”There’s a good amount of education and financial resources for anyone interested,” Bright said.

Its Energy Benchmark program can help business owners understand their utility bills compared to buildings of similar size.

”So you can see pretty quickly by entering this data how you compare to like facilities in the Midwest that have similar space characteristics or heating and cooling characteristics,” Bright said.

Although going green may seen like a big task for some, sustainability leaders say the pay off is well worth it.

”I think sometimes it can be seen as a little bit of extra work, but for any business, really the fundamental thing that particularly energy conservation efforts delivery is just operational savings so it’s basically a way to help save money for your business,” Bright said.

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