WE ARE PROUD TO BE A CALIFORNIA CERTIFIED GREEN BUSINESS
In 2012, MedBridge moved to a new location in the “Funk Zone” of Santa Barbara. Being that we have maintained our Green Business Certification since December 2010, it was imperative that we transform our new office space into an eco-friendly environment. Some of our improvements and initiatives are highlighted here:
GREEN BUSINESS CERTIFICATION
When MedBridge purchased a new building and moved its headquarters into the “Funk Zone” of Santa Barbara in 2012, its executive team knew it wanted the location to demonstrate the company’s “holistic approach to building and core values as a business,” said Ruth Loomer, MedBridge’s Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff and the former Co-Chair of the Community Environmental Council’s (CEC’s) Partnership Council. But this presented a challenge for MedBridge, which also holds partnerships with about 20 medical facilities in California. The company had already demonstrated its dedication to sustainability by certifying its old headquarters through the Green Business Program of Santa Barbara County. It then needed to go through the process again for its new building.
The Green Business Program is “about preserving the world and setting an example for the community, for other businesses and for employers,” said Michael Haynes, MedBridge’s Green Business Coordinator. “We pride ourselves on the integrity to do the right thing as it relates to education and the environment.”
To achieve certification a second time for its new building, MedBridge needed to implement a list of utility improvements. Thus, the company began initiatives to:
Since MedBridge is on the business side of medicine, it unavoidably deals with a lot of paper. The company transitioned from 30% to 100% recycled paper stock and purchased scanners to dramatically increase its electronic records. MedBridge also participates in a composting program to reduce its daily food waste.
Reuse and recycle
“We didn’t want to create a demand for new, new, new,” Loomer said. So, MedBridge utilized a minimalistic approach to remodeling. Completely refurbished cubicles and recycled furniture meant the company did not diminish materials or use unnecessary resources. Repurposed acoustical wood muffles the noise associated with tall ceilings, and brick walls have been left bare to eliminate the use of paint and insulation materials. Additionally, secondhand resources like fence boards have taken the form of art pieces, planter boxes and coffee tables.
Be energy and water efficient
Strict standards for energy use were set, which meant discarding the building’s old water heater in favor of a newer, more efficient model and installing low-flow showers, sinks and toilets. MedBridge is also mindful of electricity consumption by using fluorescent and low-wattage bulbs.
Bring the outside in
MedBridge wanted to bring nature indoors as much as possible. Every department receives natural lighting from large windows that wrap around the building.
Create an Alternative Transportation Incentive Program
MedBridge rewards employees who choose “green” methods of transportation, including carpooling, biking and walking. More than half of its staff participates in the program each month.
Install water bottle refill stations
MedBridge, in conjunction with the CEC, has installed water bottle refill stations at a local college and junior high school. These refill stations encourage the use of reusable water bottles to reduce plastic waste. They also encourage a healthier lifestyle choice compared to consuming soda and other drinks high in sugar.
To learn more about the CEC’s “Rethink the Drink” program, please click here.
COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL (CEC)
In addition to MedBridge providing financial support to the CEC, Loomer (pictured right) served as a committed member of the organization’s Partnership Council. MedBridge’s Green Business Coordinator is currently on the Partnership Council as well.
The CEC’s mission is “to identify, advocate, raise awareness, and develop effective programs to solve the most pressing environmental issues that affect the Santa Barbara region.”
Learn more about the CEC here.