WE ARE PROUD TO BE A CERTIFIED GREEN BUSINESS
In 2012, MedBridge moved to a new location in the “Funk Zone” of Santa Barbara. Being that MedBridge has maintained Green Certification since December 2010 it was imperative to transform the new office space into an eco-friendly environment. Some of the improvements and initiatives are highlighted here:
GREEN BUSINESS CERTIFICATION
When MedBridge purchased a new building and moved its headquarters into the Funk Zone, the executive team knew they wanted the location to demonstrate the company’s “holistic approach to building and core values as a business,” said MedBridge Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Ruth Loomer, Former Co-Chair of the Community Environmental Council’s (CEC) Partnership Council. But this presented a challenge for MedBridge, which also holds partnerships with about 20 medical facilities and practices in California. The company has already demonstrated its dedication to sustainability by certifying its old headquarters through the Santa Barbara Green Business Program. It now 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 MedBridge Green Business Coordinator Michael Haynes. “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 the new building, the company needed to implement a list of utility improvements. Some of the improvements included:
Since MedBridge is on the business side of medicine, they unavoidably deal with a lot of paper. The company transitioned from 30% recycled paper stock to 100% and purchased scanners to dramatically increase their electronic records. MedBridge also participates in a composting program to reduce their daily food waste.
Reuse and Recycle
“We didn’t want to create a demand for new, new, new”, said Loomer. So, MedBridge utilized a minimalist approach to remodeling. Completely refurbished cubicles and recycled furniture meant they did not diminish or use unnecessary resources. Re-purposed acoustical wood muffled the noise of tall ceilings, and brick walls were left bare to eliminate the use of paint and insulating materials. Second-hand resources, such as fence boards, took the form of art pieces, planter boxes, and coffee tables.
Energy and Water Efficiency
Strict standards for energy use were set, which meant discarding the old water heater in favor of a newer, more efficient model and installing low-flow showers, sinks and toilets. They were also mindful of electricity 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.
Alternative Transportation Program
MedBridge provides incentives to employees that choose “green” methods of transportation, including carpooling, walking and biking. Over fifty percent of the staff participates in the program each month.
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 high-sugar drinks.
To learn more about the CEC’s “Rethink the Drink” program, click here.
COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL (CEC)
In addition to MedBridge’s financial support, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, Ruth Loomer (pictured right), served as a committed member of the Partnership Council for the Community Environmental Council (CEC). MedBridge’s green Business Coordinator currently serves on the CEC Partnership Council.
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.