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From Administrative Duties to Climate Leadership

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Suzan Lee steps up her commitment to the environment.

Last year, Suzan Lee gained attention from the Energy and Environmental Sustainability (EES) team for her personal sustainability goals. From swearing off air travel to forgoing car ownership, Suzan showed ambition and enthusiasm for her eco-friendly lifestyle. It’s clear that sustainability is something she loves to share with others.

Suzan’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendliness has only grown over time. In 2022, she joined the Green+Leaders community, which empowers health-care staff committed to advancing sustainable practices and promoting a more eco-friendly approach within the health system.

Another opportunity for Suzan to apply her skills and sustainability knowledge at work came when she joined Providence Health Care’s Environmental Stewardship Team (ESTeam). The ESTeam is a group that was established within Providence Health Care (PHC) in Summer 2022 to coordinate sustainability and climate resilience initiatives. The team is supported by executive leadership and is led by four core facilitators, with a team support person to help keep things on track. The ESTeam was created in response to PHC’s recognition of environmental sustainability as a foundational principle in the Mission: Forward Strategic Plan. The team’s goal is to work towards sustainability in health care, with the support of EES and the Green+Leaders community.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being in the ESTeam is being part of a team that truly understands the importance of sustainability and wants to work towards improving it in health care and in our workplace,” says Suzan.

As the lead for the ESTeam’s Communications & Education working group, Suzan’s goal is to amplify sustainability projects and share progress and knowledge, particularly those of the ESTeam.

Her progression from personal goals to bringing sustainability efforts into the workplace was a natural one. “Both personally and in my volunteer work, I try to find ways to be more eco-friendly, so being able to work towards sustainability in my workplace was a unique opportunity,” says Suzan.

For those colleagues who are interested in sustainability, Suzan’s advice is to “think about what aspect of sustainability interests them and how they can get involved. Whether it’s through physical or digital actions, solo or social efforts, or donating time or money, there are many ways to take climate action. At PHC, attending an ESTeam meeting, which are held monthly, is a good way to get started.”

Environmental sustainability takes effort, but every small action towards being eco-friendly can be fulfilling,” says Suzan.