America’s Essential Hospitals is proud to recognize five member hospitals that received Environmental Excellence Awards from Practice Greenhealth for their commitment to environmental stewardship and achievements in sustainability and resilience. These awards recognize 25 hospitals with the highest standards for environmental sustainability practices.
These hospitals demonstrate their commitment to the cause in myriad ways, including by reducing waste, improving facilities’ energy efficiency, improving food service sustainability, and reducing hazardous chemical use.
Boston Medical Center, in Boston, was recognized for its co-generation power plant, which provides 43 percent of the hospital’s electric needs, saves $1.5 million per year, and can provide heat and electricity during a disaster.
Harborview Medical Center, in Seattle, has the largest onsite roof solar array of any Washington hospitals, which helps reduce carbon emissions, cut energy costs, and provide power during emergencies.
Stony Brook University Medical Center, in Stony Brook, N.Y., promotes the health of the climate, patients, and caregivers through a central green space featuring native plants, a labyrinth, and a vegetable garden.
The University of Vermont Medical Center, in Burlington, Vt., recycled 100 percent of the construction debris from the hospital’s new inpatient building.
UCLA Health Ronald Reagan University Medical Center, in Los Angeles, has embraced electric vehicles by using an electric bus to transport patients and opening more electric parking spaces.
The downstream health effects of climate change disproportionately influence the vulnerable populations essential hospitals serve. Exposure to extreme heat and air pollution affect children, elderly individuals, and those living in poverty more than other populations, resulting in poorer health outcomes. Essential hospitals are doing their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier economy, recognizing that their responsibility to improving the health of their communities includes confronting their own operations’ contributions to climate change.
A recent Essential Hospitals Institute report, The State of Climate Resilience and Mitigation Efforts at Essential Hospitals, details how essential hospitals improve sustainability of their operations, change their infrastructure to build resilience to a changing climate, and respond to unique challenges in implementing sustainability programs.