5 Ways EverCheck Partners Lead Sustainable Healthcare


Going green and implementing sustainable business practices makes good business sense for hospitals. Hospitals and health facilities require exorbitant amounts of energy to sustain their day-to-day operations considering the 24/7 model of their business. Implementing energy-saving measures can free up funds that could otherwise go to research and improve patient care. Likewise, younger talent and even consumers are looking to work with and patronize brands that align with their way of thinking about sustainability efforts. Thinking green makes sense.

When we first began researching this article, the intent was to give practical advice about how hospitals and health systems can work toward more sustainable and “green” operations. What we found, though, is that kind of advice is plentiful. In fact, through our research, we found that some of EverCheck’s very own partners are pioneers in environmental sustainability. They’re erecting some of the first LEED-certified buildings, dedicating entire research centers to limiting environmental toxin exposure in children, thinking very differently about the way they procure the food they serve patients, and offering free public transportation to all of their employees. So congratulations, partners. You are ahead of the original article we intended to publish,10 Simple Ways To Make Your Hospital More Eco-Friendly.

Having said that, we decided to acknowledge and shine the light on some of our partners who are making waves with their environmental sustainability efforts.


Food | UCLA Health

For many, the sustainability aspect of eating less meat is convincing enough to cut back – producing just one hamburger requires as much fossil fuel energy as it takes to power a small car for 20 miles.

But there’s another factor that has many hospitals considering more forks and fewer knives: the increase in antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Some evidence suggests that the increase in resistance is related to the use of antibiotics in livestock feed. It goes without saying that antibiotic resistance in patients can be very dangerous.

UCLA Health in Los Angeles, California, has taken a forward-thinking approach to the way it serves food. For instance, beef and poultry products it purchases are antibiotic-free, and the cafeterias on-site practice “Meat-Free Mondays.” All of its purchased foods use packaging made from compostable and recycled materials, and if you’re using a reusable beverage container, you’ll receive a discount on coffee. Additionally, UCLA avoids hundreds of tons of waste from being sent to landfill annually by composting its food waste.


Transportation | Boulder Community Health

Boulder Community Health is a shining star when it comes to sustainability in healthcare. Its FootHills Hospital was the first LEED-certified healthcare facility in the US and the first ever to install a rooftop solar system.

So with its eye on sustainability, Boulder Community Health also understands the impact that public transportation has on reducing carbon footprints. According to the American Public Transportation System, driving personal vehicles is the biggest contributor to a household’s carbon footprint. By taking existing public transportation instead of driving a car, a single person saves 4,800 pounds of CO2 per year.

Boulder Community Health offers a free RTD Eco-Pass to every single one of its employees, making the commute for staff essentially free and reducing the amount of CO2 emissions that would have been produced had their staff been required to use a personal vehicle for their commute.


Building Construction | UF Health Shands

Similarly to Foothills Hospital, the Shands Cancer Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville was the first hospital in the state to receive LEED Gold certification. Prior to the construction of the new building, other buildings on site had to be demolished. Some demolition waste yields components that are hazardous once they enter the landfill, like plasterboard, which releases toxic gases when exposed to landfill conditions. In this case, however, the demolition from the site’s previously occupied buildings recycled about 96% of the waste, and about 50% of the site was returned to its natural vegetative state.

But the real magic happens inside the facility. Specially-designed, high-efficiency windows and solar shading (things like blackout shades) help reduce energy costs. Additionally, the hospital has a dedicated on-site heat and power plant that provides all of the electric, cooling, heating, and medical gas required. UF Shands is one of the few Southeast facilities capable of providing 100% of the energy it needs directly from its on-site plant.


Waste | Johns Hopkins

Hospitals can produce up to 25 pounds of waste per patient, per day, according to sustainabilityroadmap.org. Basically, hospitals are waste-producing powerhouses.

In 2014, Johns Hopkins Hospital was part of a pilot program that handled waste a bit differently. Before the program, supplies from patient isolation rooms were thrown away after the patient was discharged. Instead, JHH decided to bio-decontaminate and reuse more than $90,000 worth of supplies using vaporized hydrogen peroxide, saving more than 4,000 pounds of waste from hitting landfills. Because of their efforts, Johns Hopkins Hospital was awarded the “Trailblazer” award for environmental leadership by Maryland Hospitals for a Healthier Environment.


Toxic Exposure | Hackensack UMC

From cleaning products and insecticides to contaminated foods, our population is exposed to toxic chemicals that cause cancer and otherwise wreak havoc on our bodies. The mission behind the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is to prevent these environmental risks. The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center is working to identify, control, and eradicate major environmental risks through its research, education, and practical solutions.

Visit their website, and you’ll find abundant resources and information on environmental risks, especially regarding children’s health. You’ll also find practical solutions and advice, like switching to “green” cleaning products and which foods to leave off your plate to avoid harmful pesticides and contaminants.

We’re so proud to work with clients who think differently about their environmental impact. Of course, many of our other partners are making huge strides in their own sustainability efforts, as well. We want to thank all for their commitment to helping keep Earth our forever home.

See sustainability at EverCheck

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