Linzmeyer Hopes to Show it's Easy to be Green

Paul Linzmeyer 

ThedaCare has a national reputation for cutting out the waste when it comes to the delivery of healthcare. Now, the health system is seeking to literally cut the waste and make the planet a bit greener.

Paul Linzmeyer, a business leader with more than 20 years of executive experience including serving as president of Bay Towel in Green Bay, was recently hired as ThedaCare’s first sustainability leader.

“ThedaCare has a proven track record with its lean and quality initiatives and my role is to combine evidence-based design with best management practices to help the organization become more sustainable,” he said. “ThedaCare’s mission is to improve the health of the community and one way to do that is through the use of less water and energy. At the same time, we want to educate employees and the community and share what we’re doing.”

Linzmeyer plans to use the lean tools already in place to help hospitals, clinics, and offices to be a bit greener by looking at ways to reduce energy and water usage as well as the amount of material sent to landfills.

“We’ll use evidence-based design combined with some of the lean tools to identify and make the changes,” said Linzmeyer, adding he is currently doing an audit of all facilities to get a baseline of how much water and energy is used and how much waste goes to landfills. From there, he’ll develop plans to bring those numbers down. Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center will be the first two facilities to be targeted, but all sites will eventually be affected by the changes.

 “The two Fox Cities hospitals are the largest users so if we can make some changes there, it will add up to a real difference,” Linzmeyer said.

Sustainability efforts are not just about improving the bottom line, he said. “Doing these things is one way we can better care for our planet and help make our community a better place to live,” Linzmeyer said.

The efforts will be easy to track and if one effort isn’t working, another one can be tried. “There are a lot of strategies we can use to reduce our carbon footprint and there are tools in place to show what this change or that change has done.”

Linzmeyer has extensive experience when it comes to sustainability. For the past five years, he had his own consulting business focused on helping organizations with their own sustainability efforts. He also was the first chair of a New North committee focused on sustainability efforts and is active in several organizations dedicated to sustainability, including the OECD Sustainable Manufacturing and Eco-Innovation Committee (Paris).

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Linzmeyer is a past board member of New North Inc., past board chairman of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and a past board chairman of the Wisconsin Council on Workforce Investment.