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Metro Health Hospital Named Top 25 in the U.S. for Sustainability by Practice Greenhealth

For the eighth consecutive year, Metro Health Hospital has received the top environmental award from Practice Greenhealth for its leadership role in health care sustainability.

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Practice Greenhealth again recognized the Wyoming, Michigan-based community hospital with the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award, given annually to only 25 hospitals nationwide.

Additionally, Metro Health was awarded a Circle of Excellence Award in the Less Waste category. Circle of Excellence awards are given to up to 10 hospitals that have shown outstanding performance in each of the 10 categories, which include: climate, green building, energy, chemicals, food, leadership and water, among others.

Metro Health was also recognized as a Greening the OR Honoree for its work to reduce the environmental impact of its surgical suites.

“We are honored to be named one of the top 25 hospitals in the nation in sustainability by Practice Greenhealth,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO of Metro Health. “By caring for the environment, we believe we make it easier for our community to be healthy – and we set an example for our employees, patients and visitors.”

The Top 25 award recognizes health care facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and set the highest standards for environmental practices in health care. Award winners are chosen from hospitals that have the highest scores for the Greenhealth Emerald Award using Practice Greenhealth’s thorough scoring and evaluation system. Each winning facility has innovative programs and shows leadership in its local community and in the health care sector.

Metro Health was one of the first full-service hospitals in the country to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified. In addition to maintaining its LEED accreditation, Metro Health’s green achievements and initiatives include:

  • Collected and safely disposed of more than 3,346 pounds of unused or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and controlled substances as part of the National Drug Take Back Day events held each year in the spring and fall since October 2011.
  • Recycled 669,580 pounds of waste generated in fiscal year 2015, or 39.5 percent of the hospital’s total overall waste.
  • Initiated an audit program to assess waste streams within hospital departments. Followed up with an educational review with departments to help them maximize the amount of waste being recycled.
  • Expanded a compost program to include place compost containers in break rooms and some meeting spaces, in addition to those already in place in the cafeteria and kitchen. In 2015, Metro Health composted 117 tons or 13 percent of total waste.
  • Increased the amount of healthy beverages served throughout the organization by reducing the number of high-sugar beverage options in the café and increasing the no and low-sugar options, promoting the use of reusable beverage containers and providing “spa” water in the café and at many meetings.
  • Produced more than 1,500 pounds of vegetables in the Metro Garden, a volunteer-run garden directed by the Food and Nutrition Department. The garden, which features two honey bee hives, benefited from more 250 volunteer hours from Master Gardeners and youth from the local YMCA.

The hospital received the awards during Practice Greenhealth’s recent Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony.

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joseph.weller@metrogr.org