Engaged Leadership

Engaged Leadership


The primary responsibility of those engaged in healthcare is to heal and to promote human health, but hospital operations can have large-scale negative effects on the natural environment. It has been established that energy usage, waste and toxic chemicals have a direct effect on public health. Accordingly, healthcare facilities are taking the lead in correcting and preventing their negative impacts on the environment — while at the same time implementing ways to operate more efficiently. We worked to meet the New York State mandates and have recently signed the HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge. The organization Practice Greenhealth has found that the most successful environmental sustainability programs in healthcare facilities have strong support from their leadership. 

Engaged leadership in environmental sustainability programming includes building a team (with team leaders), using a set of reporting metrics, developing an annual plan and setting goals, and communicating success stories. 

PGH Award 2021

Goals 2022:


  • Meet metrics and milestones in the Health and Human Services Health Sector Climate Change Pledge.

  • Review our Sustainability statement.
  • Increase communication about  sustainability.
  • Confirm sustainability workgroup SMART goals. 
  • Embed sustainability objectives into strategic sustainability plan, in alignment with organizational strategic plan. 
  • Reference commitment to sustainability in employee recruitment process; provide overview of organizational sustainability goals in New Employee Orientation; include questions about sustainability/ environmental stewardship program in employee engagement/satisfaction survey. 
  • Employ or host interns, students or residents relating to sustainability.
  • Formulate sustainability program budget.
  • Provide annual sustainability report to Governing Body. 


In 2022, Stony Brook University Hospital signed the White House/Health and Human Services Heath Sector Climate Pledge. The hospital has committed to:

  1. At minimum, reduce organizational emissions by 50% by 2030 (from a baseline no earlier than 2008) and achieve net-zero by 2050, publicly accounting for progress on this goal every year.
  2. Designate an executive-level lead for their work on reducing emissions by 2023 and conduct an inventory of Scope 3 (supply chain) emissions by the end of 2024.
  3. Develop and release a climate resilience plan for continuous operations by the end of 2023, anticipating the needs of groups in their community that experience disproportionate risk of climate-related harm.

Stony Brook University Hospital is carefully working on this pledge.

Additionally, during 2022, we met our goals of increasing communication around Sustainability efforts by having an invited speaker, Shanda Demorest, from Healthcare without Harm, present at the December Department heads meeting on climate change and healthcare’s Ethical Imperative for Action. The CEO also posted a blog on sustainability in July and there were several press and social media releases on sustainability.

Stony Brook University Hospital has a long history in sustainability efforts and was the first hospital in the nation to pledge to reduce its environmental impact through a Go Green Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the EPA. The signed agreement outlined extensive goals and strategies to reduce energy, conserve water, recycle solid waste, and implement environmentally preferable purchasing and green landscaping. 
We built a robust healthcare sustainability program inspired through these initiatives: Less Waste, Safer Chemicals, Greening the OR, Healthy Food, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, Energy/Water Conservation, Green Building and Engaged Leadership. Each initiative has an assigned leader, a team and a set of reporting metrics and goals. 

We developed a solid structure of reporting sustainability results, via our Healthcare Sustainability Committee. Reporting occurs on an annual calendar year basis. Strategic goals are reviewed for completion and new goals are developed for the next reporting year.


In 2022 Stony Brook University Hospital shared an award from the New York Power Authority. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) awarded SUNY Stony Brook (including Stony Brook University Hospital) the Outstanding Commitment to Energy Efficiency award! The award recognizes NYPA customers for their leadership and innovation in advancing clean energy projects throughout New York State.

  • SUNY Stony Brook was selected as a recipient of this award for its continued focus on energy efficiency across an extensive campus. Stony Brook completed three energy master plans with NYPA and identified an estimated $16.9M in annual costs savings. The campus has continued to grow while also achieving a 20% reduction in campus-wide energy use intensity (EUI) and meeting Executive Order 88. Stony Brook shows no sign of slowing down and is currently updating its energy master plans to identify new opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce emissions and upgrade critical infrastructure.

Stony Brook University Hospital has been honored over the years by Practice Greenhealth awards that recognize hospital-wide sustainability work (e.g., Emerald, Top 25), and specialized efforts (e.g., Circles of Excellence which reflect top ten of hospitals nationwide in various areas and Greening the OR.) Recent awards include:

Greenhealth Emerald Award
Circle of Excellence – Leadership
Circle of Excellence – Sustainable Procurement
Top 25
Circle of Excellence – Chemicals
Circle of Excellence – Transportation
Greening the OR
Environmental Excellence
Top 25
Circle of Excellence – Chemicals
Greening the OR
Greenhealth Emerald
Greening the OR
Greenhealth Emerald
Greening the OR
Partner for Change

In addition to the Practice Greenhealth awards, we have been recognized for our innovative environmental programming. We have received many awards for our efforts, including the Vizient Sustainability Excellence Award, the Making Medicine Mercury Free Award, and NYSDEC Environmental Excellence Recognition Award. 


EC0069 Hospital Recycling and Sustainability

EC0040 Reusable Hospital Surplus Property

LD0105 Clinical Products Request, Standards and Evaluation Program and Process


Carol Gomes, Colette Brown, and Barbara Boyle


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