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Beaumont receives national 'green' award

Beaumont has received the 2013 "Partner for Change" award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation's leading health care membership community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care. The award is one of the organization's Environmental Excellence awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The Partner for Change award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.

"This award proves that Beaumont is committed to eliminating mercury, reducing waste, recycling and preventing pollution, among other environmentally preferable practices," says Laura Wenger, R.N., executive director, Practice Greenhealth.

As evidenced in a recent Health Care Research Collaborative study, "Can Sustainable Hospitals Help Bend the Health Care Cost Curve?" introducing environmental sustainability measures in hospitals not only results in significant savings, it won't increase operating costs. The implications are clear given the return on investment, all hospitals should adopt and expand their sustainability programs.

"We take pride in developing programs to improve the health of our patients, staff and community," says Kay Winokur, vice president, Quality and Professional Services, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. We look forward to working with Practice Greenhealth to further our sustainability efforts and lessen our impact on the environment."

Beaumont has made "green" part of its culture with a formal sustainability plan, budget, owners and structure.

Some of Beaumont's sustainability efforts include:

  • Energy - Beaumont has implemented 55 projects that have generated more than $2.1 million in savings.
  • Innovation - Employee teams conduct two-day kaizen, or process-improvement events, every month to seek low-cost solutions to reduce energy and water consumption.
  • Green technology - Beaumont has invested in daylight harvesting systems, EPEAT electronics and computers; and 1,413 LED lighting fixtures.
  • Supply chain - Beaumont has worked with suppliers to reduce excess packaging and materials to achieve less waste. The hospital also works with vendors who offer "green" office supply products; 30 percent of Beaumont's purchases are made from eco-friendly materials.
  • Transportation/commuting - Beaumont offers an employee carpool program and has more than 150 participants. The hospital also encourages bike riding. The campus has clearly marked bike lanes and provides employees bikes to use and covered racks to store bikes. The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented in Boston at CleanMed, the premier national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability.


Contact: Angela Blazevski
Beaumont Health System

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