Earth Matters

Sunnybrook Launches Smart Energy Actions Program

On Thursday I had the pleasure of announcing the launch of  Sunnybrook’s new Smart Energy Actions Program at our 4th Earth Matters Showcase Event. As Earth Hour reminds us, energy is something we generally take for granted. It is just THERE, out there from somewhere, delivered to us at our homes and work, ready to be used whenever we need it.

The above pictures really highlight how energy is integral to everything that we do here at Sunnybrook, from monitoring the vital signs of that father who just had surgery to powering the MRI machine to examine that child’s head injury. From helping a cancer patient using image guided radiation treatment to caring for newborn babies. It’s easy to see how precious energy is.

And Sunnybrook is not without energy challenges. We have an aging infrastructure with many of our buildings and electrical infrastructure built in the ’40s. We have sensitive occupants who require stringent air quality and comfort conditions. And our peak electrical load happens on those hot summer days, to align with the rest of the province and make it the most expensive time to require energy. We also know that technology will keep advancing and there will be new devices and techniques invented to help provide people with the best possible care. Look at 40 years ago, how many MRIs did we have, how many computers? Hopefully we will look back in 10 years with even more impressive devices.

Our main challenge will be how we meet the energy demands of this future, finding new and smarter ways to ensure that energy will be available when it matters most.

It’s a smart world we live in, today we have in-vehicle GPS and satellite navigation, automated tractors for farming, medical devices that send patient information from their homes to physicians in hospitals, and energy systems that analyze and optimize energy consumption in buildings. The world continues to get smarter, and the information age has allowed us to be more connected and obtain more data than ever before. According to IBM, everyday business and consumer life creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. (Quintillion – That’s 1 billion, billion) This data comes from everywhere: sensors, social media posts, purchase transaction records, and GPS signals to name a few.

If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to check out the documentary “Thinking Cities in the Networked Society” available on Ericsson’s  You Tube Channel. (see the link below).

Watch Thinking Cities Here:

In the documentary, telecommunications leader Ericsson explores the challenges and opportunities of urbanization in the networked society. The world population is expected to soar to more than 9 billion people by 2050, with roughly 70% living in cities. At the same time, information communications technology (ICT) is extending its reach.

The way we produce, use and analyze data is changing the world around us in fundamental ways. This has opened up opportunities for improvement and optimization as relationships between data sets are used to reveal valuable new insights.

Through the Smart Energy Actions Program, Sunnybrook can embrace this information age and utilize new tools to help make more informed decisions about our energy usage. The main goal of our Smart Energy Actions Program is to use energy efficiently and with purpose. To use energy where it matters most.

We will achieve this through three main actions:

  • Using energy metering data to analyze and trend our energy use patterns.
  • Providing flexibility in energy uses so that we can modify our energy profile when province demands and prices are high
  • Educating all staff to evaluate their energy use choices

About the author


Laura Berndt

Laura Berndt (Hough) is the Manager of Energy & Sustainability in Plant Operations at Sunnybrook.

1 Comment

  • Timely, and well supported! The 4th Earth Matters Showcase Event showcased Sunnybrook’s initiatives towards a green future and demonstrated that even in a difficult financial constriant environment, becoming a greener company makes financial and health sense.

    The support realized, also echoed the collective action needed to ensure a sustainable future, a future which recognizes that reducing environmental impacts can improve the health, social, economic and living standards this earth’s inhabitants. Great Job!

    Thanks Laura, well done.