EnviroPure

Changing Hospitals for the Greener

By Greenhealth Staff on April 27, 2012

Practice Greenhealth honors 10 organizations with the System for Change Award.

The System for Change Award recognizes health care systems that are working cohesively to set system goals, track and benchmark data, and share successes in environmental performance.


Advocate Health Care

Advocate Health Care’s Green Team won for its leadership, waste and energy reduction, and sustainable design.

Recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 health systems, Advocate Health Care is the largest fully integrated health care system in the state of Illinois. This faith-based, not-for-profit organization offers over 250 sites of care, including 10 acute care hospitals and two integrated children’s hospitals.

FOCUS Leadership
OUTCOMES
Advocate appointed Mary Larsen, as system-wide sustainability manager in 2011 and a sustainability lead was identified for each site to serve on a system-side council, which connects facility-specific green teams for data collection, analysis, and information sharing. Advocate is a founding sponsor of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.

FOCUS Energy Use Reduction
OUTCOMES
Advocate appointed Joseph Buri as a system-wide energy manager in 2011. Advocate has reduced its energy consumption by 11 percent since 2008, and is well on its way to reaching its goal of 20 percent reduction by 2015. Advocate uses a 200-point energy-efficiency checklist for all its facility operations and a disciplined approach to retro-commissioning systems to optimize efficiency.

FOCUS Waste Reduction
OUTCOMES
Regulated medical waste is an impressive 1.75 pounds/APD; it had a 27 percent recycling rate, and saved $1.9 million by reprocessing single-use devices. Waste reduction progress is tracked on its new dashboard tool.

FOCUS Design, Construction, and Operations
OUTCOMES
Sustainable design is a prerequisite for building projects. In 2011, Advocate recycled 95 percent of its construction and demolition debris.


Bon Secours Health System, Inc.

Bon Secour’s St. Francis Hospital reaches out to the community to promote environmental practices.

Bon Secours Health System, Inc. (BSHSI) is a faith-based, not-for-profit health care system whose 14 hospitals and two long-term care facilities demonstrate Reverence for the Earth by embracing ecological stewardship values.

FOCUS Leadership
OUTCOMES
Bon Secours Health System communicates environmental activities on a monthly basis to all facilities. They foster community engagement with ecological education and presentations at local and national conferences. BSHSI hosts a Green Summit annually and is a sponsoring system for the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.

FOCUS Energy Use Reduction
OUTCOMES
BSHSI’s energy scorecard includes aggressive goals with monthly metrics that are communicated to all facilities. They established 24 no cost/low cost energy conservation measures that are designed to yield a three to five percent reduction in energy use by August 2012.

FOCUS Waste Reduction
OUTCOMES
Its regulated medical waste rate improved from 12.6 percent to 5.6 percent of total waste in just two years with an average 34.7 percent recycle rate; $5.4 million were saved by reprocessing single-use devices.

FOCUS Chemical Management
OUTCOMES
BSHSI collaborated with BizNGO to develop and implement strategies for using products that promote environmentally preferable chemicals.


Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic’s Healthy Environment Team.

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multispecialty academic health care system with over 24 million square feet in its portfolio. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, M.D., president and CEO, envisions Cleveland Clinic helping Cleveland become “a vital green city on a blue lake” by supporting healthy environments for healthy communities.

FOCUS Leadership
OUTCOMES
Cleveland Clinic is the first U.S. hospital system to sign onto the United Nations Global Compact. The Office for a Healthy Environment (OHE) oversees and supports a robust internal comparative metric system that reports at the enterprise level. In 2011, OHE established its Business Review process, a management tool that requires a monthly results-based performance management meeting, linking actions taken to results produced.

FOCUS Energy Use Reduction
OUTCOMES
Cleveland Clinic won an EPA ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for a second time in 2012. This award recognizes efforts in leadership for conservation, renewable energy, and integration with the community energy management plan.

FOCUS Waste Reduction
OUTCOMES
Enhancing its robust landfill diversion program, Cleveland Clinic initiated clinical plastics recycling in all 86 main campus operating rooms. It recycles three tons of clinical plastic each month and plans to expand to other system facilities using an innovative market for blue wrap. It diverts 76 to 98 percent construction debris from landfills and commits to LEED certification on all new major construction enterprise-wide.


Covenant Health Systems

Working with the community to promote wellness is important at Covenant Health.

Covenant is a not-for-profit, Catholic system that operates three hospitals and eight long-term care facilities in New England and Pennsylvania. They are leaders in environmental stewardship in this health care sector.

FOCUS Leadership
OUTCOMES
Covenant has won the System for Change Award for seven consecutive years. It developed an environmental dashboard that will be used to measure outcomes of environmental initiatives in 2012. Its corporate sustainability officer coordinates green teams at each facility. Covenant shared its successes in local, regional, and national forums.

FOCUS Energy and Water Use Reduction
OUTCOMES
Energy cogeneration was introduced at four long-term care facilities while all facilities decreased water use by at least 5 percent.

FOCUS Waste Reduction
OUTCOMES
Covenant reduced paper use by promoting the use of electronically shared documents. Usable medical equipment was donated to IMEC, which supplies developing countries.

FOCUS Food

OUTCOME Covenant signed the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge and established healthy food goals for 2012. Several of its facilities have instituted a reduction in meat servings by offering more vegetarian dishes and has started a food-composting system, separating all food scraps during preparation in the kitchen.

FOCUS Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)
OUTCOMES
Covenant facilities developed EPP policies and worked closely with its GPO to provide environmentally responsible products to all facilities.


Dignity Health

Dignity Health plants organic gardens on hospital campuses.

A founding sponsor of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, Dignity Health is a faith-based, not-for-profit health care system with 40 facilities located in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

FOCUS Leadership
OUTCOMES
Dignity Health assigned a corporate ecology program coordinator and leaders for green teams in each facility. The teams communicated solid waste reduction progress quarterly.

FOCUS Energy and Water Use Reduction
OUTCOMES
Facilities reported a 14 percent reduction in energy intensity per square foot over three years. Dignity collected water use data that will guide future water conservation strategies.

FOCUS Waste Reduction
OUTCOMES
In 2011, through its reusable sharps container program, Dignity Health eliminated almost 500 tons of red plastic and 73,100 tons of corrugated cardboard from being manufactured and land-filled. The use of reusable containers also prevents CO2 emissions equal to 31,255 gallons of gasoline annually. Dignity saved $5.6 million and diverted an additional 100 tons of waste from the landfill through SUD reprocessing.

FOCUS Chemical Management
OUTCOMES
Dignity Health worked with BizNGO to promote and use products with environmentally preferable chemicals. Dignity Health had conference calls to educate managers about the chemicals policy. Its vigilant procedures controlled the purchase of mercury containing products and managed laboratory, pharmacy, and electronic waste streams.

FOCUS Healthy Food
OUTCOMES
Dignity Health signed Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge. They held farmer’s markets and sourced foods locally and sustainably. Some facilities compost and some have organic gardens on site.


Fairview Health Services

Keeping blue wrap out of the waste stream is a priority at Fairview.

In Partnership with the University of Minnesota, Fairview Health Services (FHS) is an academic health system with seven hospitals including the University of Minnesota Medical Center Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

FOCUS Leadership
OUTCOMES
Fairview utilized staff supported by AmeriCorps to focus on waste reduction (details below). Its senior leadership supports an active green team.

FOCUS Energy Use Reduction
OUTCOMES
In 2011, an energy task force tracked and reported energy use reductions. Data was used to make a case for future capital improvements and it applied for an AmeriCorps energy specialist for 2012.

FOCUS Waste Reduction
OUTCOMES
FHS used its AmeriCorps funded staff to reduce junk mail; substitute alternative coolers for polystyrene in the wholesale pharmacy; plan two reuse stores, and implement composting at the largest hospital with plans for expansion. Hazardous waste reduction was added to annual training and it is working with Practice Greenhealth to identify alternatives to EtO to sterilize eye procedure instrumentation.

FOCUS Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
OUTCOMES
FHS will begin to incorporate Practice Greenhealth’s Standardized Environmental Questions for Medical Products into its supply chain process.

FOCUS Healthy Food Outcome The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy chose FHS to participate in its study of barriers to local and organic food in hospital settings. Lessons learned through the study will be shared broadly in health care, which should lead to more hospitals being able to sign the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge.


Hospital Sister Health System

HSHS sends vegetable food scraps to local farms.

Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is a faith-based nonprofit multi-institutional health care system that sponsors 13 hospitals in 12 communities across Illinois and Wisconsin. HSHS developed and initiated a Reverence To The Earth initiative, which is comprised of a system lead colleague and sustainable team from each hospital. This team is charged with promoting sustainable efforts and
OUTCOMES
system-wide in each hospital.

HSHS Reverence To The Earth team has prioritized leadership engagement, energy, water, waste reduction, and Mission Outreach as its primary focus in support of the system-wide sustainable goals.

FOCUS Energy and Water Conservation, Green Roofs
OUTCOMES
HSHS hospitals are actively involved in ENERGY STAR programs, ASCHE, local energy initiatives, community-based sustainable activities and have been locally and nationally recognized for water conservation, local food buy, mission outreach, and green roof initiatives.

FOCUS Food
OUTCOMES
Management contracts for environmental and food services have stipulations for local food buy and priority on green chemicals, process, and equipment.

FOCUS Recycling Outcome Over a million pounds of medical supplies and equipment valued at over $6.3 million dollars have been sent abroad to serve the needy. HSHS has also initiated single-stream recycling at all hospitals and continues to develop the Reverence To The Earth process.


Kaiser Permanente

Some of Kaiser Permanente’s green team pitch in on recycling efforts.

Kaiser Permanente (KP) is the nation’s largest non-profit health plan, serving 8.9 million members and operating 36 hospitals.

FOCUS Leadership
OUTCOMES
KP developed a Sustainability Scorecard that requires suppliers to disclose chemicals contained in medical products, and allows KP to evaluate products based on additional environmental criteria. KP helped group purchasing organizations adapt the scorecard. KP is also a founding sponsor of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.

FOCUS Energy and Water Use Reduction
OUTCOMES
KP successfully installed onsite renewable energy, and set a target to reduce absolute GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2020 (compared to 2008). Digital imaging saved 72 million gallons of water.

FOCUS Waste Reduction
OUTCOMES
KP set a target to divert 40 percent of waste from landfills by 2015. It sent medical supplies to safety net clinics, created outlets for blue wrap, and saved over $8 million by reprocessing SUDs.

FOCUS Food
OUTCOMES
KP held weekly farmer’s markets at 40 facilities in 2011. KP purchased 15 percent of its food from sustainable sources, offered healthy choices on its menus, and partnered with organizations that provided local produce to underserved communities.

FOCUS Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
OUTCOMES
KP utilized its Sustainability Scorecard to purchase PVC and DEHP-free IV solution bags and tubing.


MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a sponsoring organization of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.

MedStar Health is a nonprofit community-based health system encompassing nine hospitals and two long-term care facilities in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland. MedStar facilities are sustainability leaders in these communities.

FOCUS Leadership
OUTCOMES
MedStar adopted a corporate sustainability statement and each facility sent a member to the Corporate Environmental Leadership Council, which acted to support hospital green teams. It adopted a set of environmental principles and is a sponsoring organization for the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. Hospital activities include: planting community gardens, and promoting Earth Day and America Recycles Day. In addition, Good Samaritan Hospital received the Trailblazer Award for advancing sustainability from Maryland H2E for its employee/community garden.

FOCUS Energy Use Reduction
OUTCOMES
MedStar has established an ambitious goal of five percent energy reduction for 2012.

FOCUS Waste Reduction
OUTCOMES
All hospitals in the system recycled more than 1,510 tons in 2011 and reprocessed SUDs. Materials and wastes were tracked and reported on a regular basis to document progress and continuous improvement. MedStar will pursue a reduction of solid waste by 25 percent through increased recycling.

FOCUS Healthy Food Outcome The system adopted the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge and served locally and sustainably sourced food whenever possible. It worked with local aquaculture companies to promote more sustainable practices in the production of farm-raised seafood. Food Services offers sustainable food cooking demonstrations.


Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health’s OR Green Team regulates medical waste reduction strategies.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit system with nine hospitals, a medical group, and a health plan. Spectrum Health approaches sustainability by enabling the culture, developing a strategy, creating an organizational structure and utilizing a robust measurement and reporting system.

FOCUS Leadership
OUTCOMES
A $1,000,000 System-wide Sustainability Fund was developed to act as a financial mechanism to support all system entities, encourage staff engagement, augment environmental conditions, and reduce expenses. A sustainability program manager oversees the green team leaders at all facilities and collaborates with senior leadership to align sustainability with organizational priorities.

FOCUS Energy Reduction
OUTCOMES
All Spectrum Health Hospitals are ENERGY STAR Partners, operate under a five-year energy management plan and utilize software to track, analyze, and benchmark data. In 2011, the Medical Center and Blodgett Hospital power plants were upgraded saving an estimated $540,000 per year. Other 2011 System energy projects are expected to save $161,000 per year.

FOCUS Waste Reduction
OUTCOMES
Eight of Spectrum Health’s nine hospitals have initiated single-stream recycling. Regulated medical waste reduction strategies include reusable sharps containers, SUD reprocessing, fluid management systems and targeted education. These efforts reduced 1,072 tons of waste and saved $807,450.

FOCUS Community Engagement
OUTCOMES
Spectrum Health led western Michigan in ongoing education and support for health care sustainability initiatives and assisted 12 community hospitals in identifying sustainability opportunities specific to each hospital. Spectrum Health provides opportunities for sustainability internships with local colleges and increased healthy food access and education through its farmer’s market.

Healthier Hospitals Initiative
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