Sustainable Healthcare: How Four of Our Partners Put Ingenuity To Work For the Environment

Posted by EverCheck on April 23, 2020

EC-Blog-SustainableHC

 

In 2020, it’s clearer than ever that the health of planet Earth directly impacts the health of the people living here. Around the globe, healthcare organizations are becoming more environmentally conscious, and we’re proud to partner with many of those leading the charge. Because at EverCheck, we believe that environmental responsibility isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business, too. 

From reducing the amount of plastic waste to utilizing green transportation, see how our partners are making a difference. 



Boulder Community Health aims for zero waste 

Boulder Community Health (BCH) is what you'd call a seasoned veteran in the world of sustainable healthcare. BCH was one of the first health systems in the country to hire a sustainability coordinator back in 1999, and over 20 years later, their commitment to the environment remains unwavering. 

On their mission towards zero waste, BCH has implemented strategies that significantly reduce the amount of waste (especially single-use plastics) in their facilities. For example, BCH offers a .25 cent discount for coffee drinkers who use their own mug. Additionally, BCH provides compostable food containers and cutlery in their cafeterias. The compostable items come with a price tag of .05 cents each, incentivizing cafeteria goers to utilize the free, reusable metal utensils. 

 

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute opts for environmentally sustainable design 

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has received high-praise from organizations like The U.S. Green Building Council for the sustainable design of its Yawkey Center for Cancer Care. Completed in 2011, the Yawkey Center became just the second building in Massachusetts to achieve the prized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. And the awards don’t stop there... They even earned the number 17 spot on The 30 Most Environmentally Friendly Hospitals in the World list. 

What makes the design of this hospital so prize-worthy? It was crafted through the lens of environmental sustainability. The Yawkey Center boasts a variety of resource-saving features, such as:

  •  A light dimming system that adjusts to available daylight, saving electricity
  • A heat recovery system that reclaims energy by warming or cooling outdoor air 
  • Low-flow plumbing, reducing the amount of water usage by more than half
  • And more

 

UF Health Shands Hospital goes green in the Operating Room 

Yet another organization that’s no stranger to recognition for their sustainability achievements is UF Health. In fact, the Shands Cancer Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville was the first hospital in the state to receive LEED Gold certification. In efforts to make their campuses greener, UF Health has increased the number of recycling bins available, eliminated single-use plastic bags and styrofoam containers from dining areas, and more. The next thing to go green was the operating room (OR). 

 

UF Health Shands Hospital recognized that operating rooms are a big contributor to their overall carbon footprint, and by reducing waste in the OR they’re not only helping the environment but saving money as well. In 2018, UF Health earned a Greening the OR Recognition Award from Practice Greenhealth for successfully reducing waste in their surgical suites. 

 

According to an article published by UF Health, their sustainability efforts have saved them more than $180,000 by reprocessing single-use medical supply items and more than $78,000 by diverting 27,000 pounds of waste with reusable sharps containers, collecting more than 1,400 tons of recycling materials, and composting more than 54,000 gallons of food waste. 



Northwell Health reduces pollution with environmentally-friendly ambulances

Over the years, Northwell Health has continued to make headlines in New York City for its innovative sustainability efforts. In 2014, Northwell’s Lennox Hill Hospital unveiled Victory Greens, NYC’s first hospital-based organic, edible rooftop garden. All of the produce grown at Victory Greens is used in the hospital cafeteria. Plus, the rooftop garden serves as a relaxing place for employees to enjoy. 

 

A shining example of Northwell’s innovation can be seen in their green ambulances - once again, a first for NYC. These state-of-the-art ambulances are designed to help reduce air pollution and noise. They’re able to maintain a steady temperature inside the vehicle without having to idle the engine, minimizing Northwell’s carbon footprint. 

 

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The way we see it, healthcare and environmental responsibility are intrinsically linked. That’s why we’re dedicated to business practices that benefit our environment, and we celebrate the achievements of partners (including those listed above and many more) who share that same dedication.