“Whew, finding common ground is a challenge!” Li Chan grumbled.
“Getting 149 countries to agree on anything? Zut alors!” lamented Pierre.
“It’s this business of changing entrenched ways of thinking about how to use energy that’s so vexing,” remarked Ahmin.
“If only we had a model of an organization that’s actually lowered its carbon footprint without spending a bundle of money. Maybe then we’d be able to apply what it’s learned to the rest of us across the globe,” Ngunda mused.
Joe, the delegate from Southwest Wisconsin, caught that last comment as he ordered his citron presse’. “Now’s my chance,” he thought. Joe pulled up a chair and introduced himself.
“I think we actually have just the kind of model you’re looking for. It’s down the road from where I live back home. The Gundersen Health System (GHS) has 61clinics and 6 hospitals centered in La Crosse, WI. They’ve made a phenomenal transformation toward environmental sustainability. Get a load of this!” Joe exclaimed.
He ticked off a number of Gundersen’s accomplishments since 2008:
- Elimination of the use of styrofoam
- Reduction of cafeteria food waste by 80%
- 94% reduction of pharmaceutical waste
- CO2 emissions reduced by 85%
- 75% reduction is mercury emissions
- Almost 80% reduction in atmospheric particulate matter.
“Sacre bleu!” cried Pierre. “This is just what we’ve been looking for! Leave it to you clever Wisconsinites to find the key!”
“Thanks Pierre,” Joe replied. “It just goes to show that we CAN build a sustainable world. Not only that, we’ll save money by doing so. With today’s technologies there really are no more excuses. After all, we have a shared future on this single planet, our only home. Let’s make it a healthy and prosperous one. We’re here together forever…Earthbound.”