The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is Canada’s most research-intensive hospital and the largest centre dedicated to improving children’s health in the country. To meet the needs and expectations of providing the best in child and family-centred care, creating ground-breaking clinical and scientific advancements, and training the next generation of experts in child care, SickKids has embarked on Project Horizon to expand and transform the current campus. By 2035, SickKids plans to have completed the new 22-storey Patient Support Centre, and two new hospital towers: the Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower and the Ambulatory Care Tower.

SickKids’ efforts in energy management and sustainability are exhibited in both existing buildings and future buildings on the campus. Water conservation, sustainable building design/management, electricity and steam efficiency, along with encouraging staff engagement in green initiatives, are all key parts of SickKids’ strategy to mobilize a green-friendly organization. Sustainability is a core principle of Project Horizon: Be responsible stewards of our resources and consciously support the well-bring of present and future generations. SickKids plans to extend its sustainability initiatives through Project Horizon – designing spaces based on WELL Building Standards, Toronto Green Standards and LEED Gold Standards wherever possible. There is also a large focus on employing biophilic design (integrating green spaces both indoors and outdoors to promote a healing environment) which will naturally result in a greener, more environmentally friendly campus. Learn more about SickKids sustainability plans.

Accomplishments at the Building Portfolio

  • Number of buildings enrolled: 3 of 3
  • GHG Emissions Intensity: 6.49 kgCO₂e/sq ft²/yr
  • Total GHG Emissions: 18,549 tCO₂e/yr

Multiple award-winning programs for employee engagement in Energy and Sustainability Management

Since 2010, SickKids has a specialized program known as KidsGoGreen dedicated to reducing the organization’s environmental footprint. Over the years, SickKids has received several awards that recognize their commitment to the environment. From the 2003 Energy Innovators Initiative award from Natural Resources Canada to the 2020 Energy Manager of the Year award from Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), they showcase SickKids’ success in their sustainability journey.

Chiller Plants integration and optimization

Completed in 2018, this multi-year project’s scope included converting constant speed chiller plants to variable speed plants by upgrading variable frequency drives to chilled water pumps, condenser water pumps and cooling tower fans. This project improved chiller plant efficiency by 27 per cent and reduced the building’s annual electricity use by 1,300 MWh.

Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning achieves LEED Gold Cubed

Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning (PGCRL) was granted LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. This latest certification, along with previously achieved LEED Gold certifications for New Construction and Commercial Interior, make PGCRL a “LEED Gold Cubed” building. The “LEED Gold Cubed” status positions PGCRL among the best energy-efficient and water-efficient facilities in the world.

Water Conservation projects and programs reducing water use by 30 per cent from 2017 to 2020

Since 2017, SickKids has implemented many successful water-use reduction projects and programs, including installation of low-flow fixtures; enhanced preventive maintenance to fix water leaks; retrofitted existing once-through cooling system to a close-loop system; collected and reused rainwater and reverse osmosis water bleed; upgraded cooling tower and water treatment system to lower water consumption and more. These changes have reduced SickKids’ water use from 410,000 cubic metres in 2017 to 280,000 cubic metres in 2020, a difference of about 30 per cent.

Low Carbon heating to cut GHG emissions by 20 per cent in 2023 from 2017’s level

Starting in 2017, SickKids has invested $5 million to electrify its building heating system. The proactive approach included connecting heat pumps and heat recovery chillers to sources they can draw renewable heat from, such as recover process waste heat, and absorb heat out of the building exhaust air. After completion in 2023, hospital GHG emissions will be cut by 20 per cent from 2017 levels.

Disclaimer: Profiles presented are based on information provided by participants. Participants’ GHG emissions performance published are based on utility data submitted and converted to GHG emissions. The emission factors applied aligns with the period of energy data reported (2020). The emission factors utilized for the conversion are calculated based on a combination of sources: Government of Canada (National Inventory Report & Canada’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Quantification Requirements), Government of Ontario (Guide: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting), The Atmospheric Fund (A Clearer View on Ontario’s Emissions – Electricity emissions factors and guidelines) and Enbridge Gas Inc. (Chemical Composition of Natural Gas).