21 May '12, 2pm

Wisconsin hospital is powered by beer and cheese

Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, in La Crosse, Wis., aims to be energy independent by 2014. Hospitals use a ton of energy, so that’s a tough goal to meet. But Gundersen is getting there by piggybacking on Wisconsin’s best-known industries: beer and cheese . Beer and cheese, while delicious, both slough off a lot of gas while they’re being made. (Not to mention after they’re consumed.) The hospital system has been sourcing biogas from a local brewery and from a dairy farm that makes mascarpone and fresh mozzarella cheese. And recently the system started getting gas from a La Crosse landfill, as well. Hospital CEO Jeff Thompson, who pioneered the shift to biogas, isn’t some weird pickler guy , though. Energy independence makes sense for the environment, but it also makes financial sense for the hospital, which is saving gobs of money. Hospitals spend about 15 percent of their pr...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/wisconsin-hospital-is-powered-by-be...

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