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Snapshot of Sustainability: The 2012 Sustainability Benchmark Report

By Lin Hill, Director of the Awards Program

As Director of Awards, I am pleased to announce the release of Practice Greenhealth’s 2012 Sustainability Benchmark Report available for down load by Practice Greenhealth members. The report compiles a vast amount of data collected from the applications of this year’s 171 Partner for Change, Partner for Change with Distinction, and Environmental Leadership Circle Award winners . The Award applications are designed to capture sustainable activities in all areas of health care operations (the application is very detailed and thorough – just ask one of the applicants!) The data in the report specifically illustrates the techniques and types of projects that Award-winning hospitals are implementing on their path to sustainability.  Clinic and long-term care data have been separated out from the hospital data and are reported in an appendix.

In this report, you will find data on many different areas within a health care facility, including: sustainability and environmental infrastructure, sustainable activities in the community and the health care sector, waste profiling and costs, solid waste and recycling, regulated medical waste (RMW), chemical waste management, environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP), food services, facilities and construction,  energy, water and transportation.

The Benchmark Report can provide a snapshot in time of the state of sustainability in Award-winning hospitals across America, or can be used to answer very specific questions, such as:

  • How did these hospitals save $55 million?
  • What does their waste distribution look like for solid, recycling, RMW and hazardous waste? And how does the cost distribution for waste disposal differ?
  • How much waste per adjusted patient day, per bed or per square foot are these facilities generating?
  • What percent of winners are using single use device reprocessing and how much money and waste are they saving per APD, per Bed or per OR procedure? What about similar data for reusable sharps container programs?
  • Which medical plastics are getting recycled in the OR? What percent of hospitals are reformulating their OR kits to reduce waste?  What percent of hospitals are purchasing rigid sterile containers for use in the OR?
  • Which types of green cleaning products are being purchased?
  • How much money are hospitals saving through use of solvent distillation and reuse?
  • Which chemicals and attributes are avoided in purchasing practices and policies?
  • Just how far has sustainability in the cafeteria and food services progressed?
  • What type of green attributes are being included in construction and renovation projects?
  • How much electricity or total energy are facilities using per square foot? How does electricity use vary by temperature zone?
  • How much on average are hospitals spending on electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and total energy costs? What are the average costs of electricity per kilowatt hour or per square foot? How do costs differ by temperature zone?
  • How much money, energy and water are efficiency projects saving these facilities?

Please comment and tell us how you use the Sustainability Benchmark Report! 


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