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Count Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Hospital and Superior Clinic among the green

Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Superior and Superior Clinic were recognized for longtime efforts in environmental stewardship.

Douglas County and the city of Superior honored the hospital and clinic with its “Count Me Green” certification, which recognizes companies that have made a commitment to working environmentally friendly practices into their operations.

“This validates a lot of good work we’ve been doing for quite some time,” said Terry Jacobson, administrator at the Superior hospital and clinic. “It also serves as a reminder to push ourselves to do better and do more.”

Earning the “Count Me Green” certification requires a company to achieve at least 30 “points” representing an environmentally friendly business practice. The Superior hospital and clinic easily achieved more than 40 points during their first certification try, says Environmental Services Supervisor Tanya Newmarch.

The practices include having a recycling system in place; using bulk cleaning products; utilizing organic fertilizer and native landscaping trees; installing bicycle racks on campus to encourage “green” transportation and using video-conferencing and teleconferencing when possible to eliminate the need to travel, Newmarch says.

Newmarch also has developed a “Green Team,” which seeks input from each department about new environmentally friendly practices that might be put in place.

Maintenance Manager Chuck Wessberg said he’s excited about what might develop out of that group. “I think the Green Team will potentially come up with that shining star of a project,” a new and innovative idea that can be implemented, Wessberg says.

The “Count Me Green” certification is good for three years. Newmarch says Douglas County will expect to see continuous environmental improvement during that period. And that’s a challenge Newmarch wants to take on.

“We only have one Earth,” she says. “Everyone needs to play their part in protecting the thing we hold most sacred.”