Hospitals recognized for 'green' leadership

By Bernie Monegain
10:00 AM

Some hospitals are greener than others, and Practice Greenhealth, an organization that promotes sustainable healthcare practices throughout hospitals – including in the information technology arena – has identified the Premier healthcare alliance and 61 of its member hospitals as leaders.

Premier recently joined a group of healthcare organizations that are endorsing guidelines for environmentally preferable IT purchasing and management developed by the Center for Environmental Health, a nonprofit member of the national Health Care Without Harm coalition.

The alliance also recently joined a group of companies and institutions known as e-Stewards Enterprises, committed to using electronics recyclers that meet the world's highest standards for responsible recycling.

"As part of our Yes to Green program, in 2009 Premier recycled over 200,000 pounds of paper and more than 10,000 tons of computers and electronic products," said Gina Pugliese, RN, vice president of the Premier Safety Institute.

Green Corner, one of Premier's environmental Web resources, showcases hospital and supplier success stories about green initiatives that contribute to a safer, healthier community.

For the eighth year in a row, Premier received the "Champion for Change" award given by Practice Greenhealth to organizations that demonstrate success in greening their organizations and leadership in helping others improve their environmental stewardship. Premier alliance member hospitals were honored across six categories.

"Being a leader in our industry by setting the bar for environmentally sound business practices has successfully helped members of our alliance reduce greenhouse gas emissions; select safer and less toxic products; recycle floor coverings, lab solvents, and construction waste; purchase organically grown foods; and increase energy efficiency," said Susan DeVore, Premier's president and CEO. "We are proud of our members, who are committed to greening their organizations while improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of patient care."

Premier's green initiatives include: its Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program; an internal corporate-wide Yes to Green program; leadership education and "quick win" case studies on sustainability best practices; and SPHERE – Securing Proven Healthcare Energy Reduction for the Ecosystem, a collaborative that builds on Premier's commitment to a healthy environment, focusing on reducing industry energy costs, usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
For a list of the Premier healthcare alliance member hospitals designated for their environmental excellence for 2010, go to the next page.