NORTHAMPTON — For the fourth consecutive year, Cooley Dickinson Health Care was awarded the Greenhealth Partner for Change Award by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading healthcare community dedicated to transforming healthcare worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice.
The award is one of Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Excellence Awards, given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the healthcare sector. The award recognizes healthcare facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury-elimination, waste-reduction, recycling, and source-reduction programs. At minimum, facilities applying for this award must be recycling 15% 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.
Among Cooley Dickinson’s recent environmentally friendly initiatives, it recycled 30 tons (60%) of the construction waste during the construction of the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital; switched to a reusable tote delivery system for its medical and surgical supplies, which eliminated more than 35 tons of cardboard from its annual solid-waste disposal stream and saved $3,200 per year on the cost of removing that waste; and diverted nearly 100 tons of food waste and compostable packaging, plates, and cups from landfills to composting facilities.
Meanwhile, since the mid-1980s, Cooley Dickinson has heated and cooled its facilities by burning woodchips in a dedicated boiler system. That boiler system produces steam for heating and cooling, and through the process, electricity is generated as a byproduct of burning wood. For these reasons, the hospital has a relatively low greenhouse-gas profile.
“As a Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Award winner, Cooley Dickinson is committed to improving the health of our patients, staff, and community as a whole,” said Anthony Scibelli, vice president, Operations, and chief administrative officer. “Cooley Dickinson’s employees take pride in our sustainability efforts to lessen our impact on the environment and look forward to working with Practice Greenhealth to continue this work across the country.”
The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented May 19 in Dallas at the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition, a national environmental conference for leaders in healthcare sustainability. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth, visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.