Sustainability Trends Catching on at Hospitals

Lois Suder

September 24, 2014

California Hospital Association

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) has released its 2013 Milestone Report, showing that more hospitals are adopting sustainability practices to reduce their environmental footprint while lowering costs and improving the health of patients and staff. The report summarizes HHI’s second year of progress, with more than 630 HHI member hospitals submitting data that quantified their sustainability efforts. Data were collected in six key “challenge” areas: engaged leadership, healthier food, leaner energy, less waste, safer chemicals and smarter purchasing. Among the findings is a major trend toward local, sustainable food and healthier beverages, as more hospitals commit to reducing diet-related, chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Other data show a 60 percent increase in the percentage of hospitals purchasing products free of PVC/DEHP, chemicals linked to reproductive birth defects and other illnesses.

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