At our November 2019 UCAIR partners meeting we had presentations from two of our wonderful partner organizations. First up was Steve Bergstrom with Intermountain Healthcare, who detailed Intermountain’s sustainability efforts. Then we heard from Tammie Bostick, Executive Director of Utah Clean Cities about their good work in Utah. Finally, Justin Smart from Penna Powers gave us a quick preview of one component of UCAIR’s upcoming winter campaign.
Air Quality & Health at Intermountain Healthcare – Steven Bergstrom, Director, Office of Sustainability-Intermountain Healthcare
Healthcare is the fifth largest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally. These emissions are the equivalent of 514 coal fired power plants annually. The United States, China and European Union produce more than half of total global healthcare related emissions. Energy and supply chain account for majority of healthcare’s carbon footprint. The contributions of healthcare to pollution levels are of special concern in Utah, due to our unique geography and the air quality challenges we face.
Intermountain Healthcare is actively trying to make their operations more sustainable and ecofriendly, through several initiatives. As always, education is key, Intermountain care providers are having conversations with their patients and they have informational handouts regarding air quality and health available. Intermountain is also a fierce advocate within our community, they partner with a number of organizations to spread air quality messaging and help Utahns make decisions that improve air quality and health. Intermountain also walks the walk in their own facilities and clinics across the state.
Vehicles contribute a significant portion of inversion and ozone causing pollutant, one way Intermountain is tackling this problem is by making their campuses idle free facilities. Telework and telecommuting plans have been implemented and employees are encouraged to take advantage of this perk, especially on yellow and red air days to keep cars off the road. Additionally, Intermountain has installed 32 electric vehicle charging stations, 64 charging stations will be installed by the end 2019. They hope this infrastructure will encourage employees to consider purchasing electric vehicles, in addition to providing charging stations for visitors and patients. To further reduce their vehicle emissions, Intermountain is in the process of transitioning their fleet vehicles to electric hybrids. To find out more about all of Intermountain’s sustainability initiatives you can visit their website.
11th Annual Governor’s Declaration on Alternative Fuels Awareness Month- Highlights and Overview – Tammie Bostick, Executive Director, Utah Clean Cities Coalition
Governor Herbert has declared November 2019 Alternative Fuels Awareness Month in Utah. Our local Utah chapter is one of more than 100 Clean Cities Coalition organizations throughout the United States. However, they Utah Clean Cities is different from other Clean Cities organizations in the fact that Utah Clean Cities (UCC) is most focused on emissions. Transitioning fleet vehicles from traditional fuels to alternative fuels is an effective way to reduce emissions. They have had great success on programs with several Utah organizations including the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Jordan School District, Ace Disposal & Recycling and PackSize. UTA currently has 47 CNG buses, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 260 tons per year. In addition to emission reductions, introducing alternative fuel buses increases fleet resiliency, ensuring that UTA will continue to be able to provide service to Utahns in the event of fuel shortages or other unforeseen circumstances. The Jordan School District has converted 103 of its school buses to CNG models, which not only significantly reduces their emissions but saves the school district $500,00 in fuel costs annually. Another way UCC tackles emissions is through community outreach and education on idling, in addition to alternative fuels. Currently, over 500 Utah schools have committed to being idle free. Another exciting project that UCC has coming up is in Zion National Park, where they will be working to replace their old shuttles with electric shuttles, to help preserve the air quality in this very special park. This is only a small sampling of UCC’s initiatives and accomplishments. To learn more you can visit their website or contact their staff directly.
True-ish Epic Tales – Media Update – Justin Smart, Penna Powers
For the 2019-2020 winter campaign, UCAIR will be rolling out True-ish Epic Tales. These ads are drawn from true stories and designed to be relatable for the public. True-ish Epic Tales is an expansion of the 2018-2019 Easy to be Epic campaign. So far the feedback from focus groups has been encouraging and UCAIR is looking forward to putting these out. If any of our partners have pictures and stories to submit for the campaign, please contact UCAIR.
PARTNER ROUND TABLE
Following the presentation, partners shared what projects and initiatives they are currently working on. These included:
Greta DeJong, Common Good Press: The Clean Air Solutions Fair will be held on March 6, 2020. More information is forthcoming.
Dave Goldhardt, Sandy City: Sandy City is working on implementing a recycling program in city buildings and making it easy for the public to participate.
Annie Schneider, Governor’s Office of Energy Development: Their office just released a report on alternative fuel vehicles and emergency planning. The full report is available on their website.
Corbin Anderson, Salt Lake County Health Department: Their vehicle repair assistance program is in its sixth year of operation. With the help of a recently awarded Targeted Airshed Grant from the EPA, the program is going to offer vehicle replacement incentives for residents whose vehicles are failing emissions inspections. They are seeking car dealerships to partner with for this program.
Thom Carter, UCAIR
- UCAIR Grants: The UCAIR Grants committee of the Board met last night. All applicants will be notified on Monday, November 18th.
- Clean Air Caucus: The Final Clean Air Caucus of 2019 will be held on Tuesday, November 19th at 6:30 PM in the Copper Room.
- UCAIR/Silicon Slopes Air Quality Town Hall: Monday, November 18th at the Silicone Slopes headquarters in Lehi. Thom Carter and Scott Baird will have a conversation about real air quality issues, what the state government has been doing and how we can all play a part in finding solutions.
NEXT MEETING: December 13, 2019, 9:00-11:00 AM