Pledge to Healthier Hospital's Challenges
HEALTHIER HOSPITALS OVERVIEW
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) was founded by twelve U.S. health systems (comprising over 500 hospitals), along with Practice Greenhealth. Stony Brook University Hospital is a member of Practice Greenhealth, a national organization that promotes environmental sustainability in healthcare.
The aim of Healthier Hospitals was to create a guide for hospitals that would help them reduce energy and waste, choose safer and less-toxic products, and purchase and serve healthier foods.
Healthier Hospitals has six challenge areas. Stony Brook participates in two of them: Engaged Leadership and Leaner Energy.
Healthier Hospitals provides us with free tools and resources that we use to grow our sustainability program and measure its results. Healthier Hospitals also provides data to help us know which sustainability strategies are proven to be effective. In addition, the information we obtain from Healthier Hospitals is guiding us toward operating more efficiently and cost-effectively.
ENGAGED LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE
Studies have shown that healthcare organizations build lasting, effective environmental stewardship programs when they have strong commitment and ongoing support from senior leadership (including administrators and clinicians).
As part of Healthier Hospital’s Engaged Leadership Challenge, we identified internal champions for sustainability within Stony Brook Medicine, and we developed a program proposal for how leadership could support our Sustainability Program. Stony Brook University Hospital’s CEO signed an environmental policy statement that instilled sustainability as a corporate value.
We created sustainability teams and assigned team leaders. We redesigned our Healthcare Sustainability Committee, to give us a structure for defining, reporting and measuring goals and results.
We continue to identify and recognize environmental sustainability success stories.
LEANER ENERGY CHALLENGE
Hospitals are the second most energy-intensive building sector in the U.S. The Healthier Hospital's Leaner Energy Challenge guides healthcare organizations so they can reduce energy consumption; conserve energy; purchase cleaner, environmentally safer energy alternatives; and save on energy costs.
It is well-documented that healthcare facilities are a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. These fossil-fuel based energy emissions negatively impact all of us.
There are three levels to the Healthier Hospital Leaner Energy Challenge: reduce greenhouse gas levels, from an established baseline, by 3 percent; reduce them by 5 percent; and reduce them by 10 percent.
So far, the Leaner Energy Challenge has resulted in reduced energy use in the United States that is equivalent to removing 15,600 vehicles from U.S. roads annually.