MedStar Health’s environmental and sustainability strategies have been recognized through several national awards. This past year, our 10 hospitals received a total of 12 Environmental Excellence Awards from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. “Throughout MedStar Health we know that sustainability is essential to better care for our patients, for our communities, and for the planet,” says Jerry Adams, Director, Environmental & Safety Compliance for MedStar Health and chair of the Corporate Environmental Leadership Committee. The Committee works on projects like recycling and other environmental efforts at hospitals in the system. “In health care, sustainability means eliminating mercury, reducing and recycling solid waste, cutting down on regulated and chemical waste, lowering energy and water consumption, sourcing food and products sustainably, and establishing green purchasing policies.”
- All 10 hospitals have now achieved the Making Medicine Mercury-Free Award which is given to health care facilities that have virtually eliminated mercury and have policies in place to prevent it from re-entering the facility. Award criteria include strong mercury-free purchasing policies and management practices, staff education, and a commitment to continuing to be mercury-free. Mercury is a hazardous chemical associated with many health risks.
- Seven facilities received the Partner for Change award and 3 facilities received the Partner Recognition Award. These awards are given to health care facilities that are changing and continuously improving their practices to become more sustainable and have achieved progress in areas like waste reduction, energy savings efforts and the use of safer chemicals and products.
The MedStar Health Corporate Environmental Leadership Council spearheads a diverse array of sustainability programs to help track, report, and identify future opportunities with our key partners on topics such as environmental health and safety, energy management, environmental services, supply chain, food and nutrition, nursing, and more.
- Other notable system-wide metrics from 2018:
- Tracked 28 different waste streams generated
- Diverted 8,287,054 pounds of waste from landfills or incineration or 26.1% of total waste generated
- Reduced 5,678,979 kwh of electricity in 2018 from baseline
- Utilized Green Seal or ECOLOGO-certified cleaning chemicals
- 9 out of 10 facilities collected single-use devices for reprocessing
The Environmental Excellence Awards recognize health care facilities for their efforts in environmental stewardship and sustainability.