The Montreal University Mental Health Institute (MUMHI) formerly known as Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine (HLHL) is the largest mental health hospital in the Province of Québec, Canada. This hospital has established in 2009 a sustainable development committee including representative members of the different departments, whose role is to coordinate the application of the action plan of the hospital in the domain of sustainable development, and to sensitize the employees and the patients about the challenges, main targets and accomplishments.
The mandate of the committee takes into account the principles of the Quebec law in the field of sustainable development at the environmental, social and economic levels. The progress made in implementing changes is monitored periodically, and various tools are used to inform people, including via the intranet and through diverse activities, such as organized visits of the green innovations inside the hospital, and public conferences. Among the most remarkable achievements of the last 2 or 3 years, the budget dedicated to office supplies has been reduced by 20% , the use of 10 oz and 6 oz styrofoam glasses has been reduced by 30% and 40%, respectively. Moreover, the composting of food waste has increased from 483 kg at the beginning in December 2012, to as much as 1,046 to 1,827 kg per month in the period of January-December 2013.
These realizations illustrate the notion that relatively simple and realistic changes can lead to huge impact in favor of sustainable development at the local level of a health institution. Challenging issues remain, including the need to reduce the use of paper by increasing the use of electronic devices whenever possible, the optimization of the paper used for printing or photocopying, and the use and management of medical/pharmaceutical products and waste.