Stony Brook University Hospital Reduces Carbon Footprint
Stony Brook University Hospital has greatly reduced its carbon footprint and, by doing so, has saved an estimated $169,628 in operating expenses, according to a semi-annual report by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2011.
The report, an Environmental Assessment, stems from a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between SBUH and the EPA in 2009 when the hospital pledged to be an environmental steward and advance its hospital-wide green initiatives. The signing of this MOU was a first for any hospital in the United States.
The partnership has since resulted in a reduction of energy, water usage and solid waste across hospital operations. During 2010 and 2011, the hospital provided three updates to the EPA documenting its green initiatives. The EPA analyzed the submitted information and generated an environmental footprint for the organization, which is outlined in the EPA report.
SBUH is pursuing various energy-savings activities. In 2010, the hospital joined the EPA’s Energy Star program and entered energy and water usage into the Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Other actions being undertaken to reduce the hospital’s environmental impact include water conservation, industrial materials reuse, and green landscaping. Specific energy-saving activities implemented within work processes include construction debris recycling, recycling of electronics, toner cartridge recycling, battery recycling, installing virtual servers, and installing LED lights in elevators, and replacement of a cooling tower.
In recent years, SBUH has saved additional operating expenses of approximately $700,000 per year with its recycling/reuse/waste avoidance programs. The greatest return has come from the medical equipment reprocessing, or re-manufacturing, program spearheaded by Materials Management. In 2010, SBUH received the SterilMed Reprocessing Award for their outstanding efforts.
SBUH has received several other awards for its “green efforts.” These include: H2E Making Medicine Mercury Free, the EPA Environmental Quality Award, and the “Practice Greenhealth” Partner for Change Awards.