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Metro Health Named One of the Greenest Hospitals in America

green-hospitals-logoMetro Health Hospital has been named one of the “50 Greenest Hospitals in America” by Becker’s Healthcare Review.

Metro Health was one of six hospitals in Michigan to receive the recognition for its sustainability initiatives. Becker’s stated that Metro and other acute-care hospitals on this year’s list “are leading the industry in sustainable innovation, ecofriendly design and green improvements.”

The Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team used several resources to develop this list, including Practice Greenhealth’s list of Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award honorees and Circles of Excellence. Metro is a seven-time winner of Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Leadership Circle award, the highest honor given by the organization.

“As one of the first LEED-certified hospitals in the country, environmental stewardship has always been important to Metro Health,” said Ellen Bristol, director of public relations.  “We are extremely pleased to be recognized among the Greenest Hospitals in America, which is a testament to our continued commitment to sustainability.

“From sponsoring Drug Take Bake days to composting our cafeteria waste to using more environmentally friendly cleaning products, we are always looking for innovative solutions that will help make us a greener organization.”

Hospital inclusion was also based on Healthier Hospitals Initiative, or HHI, challenges. HHI challenges include committing to having an engaged leadership that supports sustainability efforts, offering healthier food, reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste and increasing recycling, transitioning to using safer chemicals and purchasing environmentally preferable products.

The Becker’s team also looked at hospitals that are working toward, or have received, some certification level of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, or LEED, from the U.S. Green Building Council. Metro Health was one of the first full-service hospitals in the country to be LEED certified. In addition to maintaining its LEED accreditation, Metro Health has green achievements and initiatives including:

  • Collected and safely disposed of 893 pounds of unused or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs and controlled substances as part of National Drug Take Back Day events held in the spring and fall of 2015
  • Recycled 647,064 million pounds of waste generated in fiscal year 2014, or 38 percent of the hospital’s total overall waste
  • Adopted a comprehensive green cleaning program that includes the use of Green Seal-certified hydrogen peroxide cleaning products, a microfiber mop system that drastically reduces water and chemical usage, and the addition of a high-intensity germicidal ultraviolet room treatment device designed to treat the air and exposed surfaces in an enclosed area
  • Instituted a composting program for the hospital’s cafeteria and kitchen, which diverted more than 60,069 tons of food waste from landfills into reusable composting material in fiscal year 2014, which translates to 329 pounds of waste each day.
  • Signed on to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association’s Healthy Food Hospital Pledge, which is one of the first voluntary statewide campaigns to model healthy food environments in hospitals, and signed on to the Healthier Hospitals Initiative
  • Committed to Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the OR Initiative, agreeing to share best practices, identify barriers to implementation, highlight successes and strategize about mechanisms to improve implementation of programs relevant to “greening” operating rooms
  • Recognized by the Department of Environmental Quality as a Clean Corporate Citizen
  • Recognized in the inaugural year of 101 Best & Brightest Sustainable Companies and each year since

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joseph.weller@metrogr.org