Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) has once again been recognized for excellence in its sustainability efforts by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in healthcare.
This year, Stony Brook was named among the Top 25 in the nation for Environmental Excellence, which is the highest honor awarded by Practice Greenhealth. The hospital was previously honored for Environmental Excellence in 2021 and presented with the Top 25 award in 2020.
“Over the years we have built a robust healthcare sustainability program and our strong commitment to environmental excellence has led the way for others in the region,” said Hal Paz, MD, executive vice president of Health Sciences and CEO of Stony Brook University Medicine. “We take pride in knowing that our continued efforts will have a positive impact on our patients, staff and the community for years to come.”
Hospitals recognized with the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award lead the industry in all-around sustainability performance, demonstrating comprehensive programs and illustrating how sustainability is entrenched in their organizational culture. Based on a rigorous scoring system, the award honors success in a range of sustainability efforts, including leadership, waste reduction and disposal practices, reduction in exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, greening the operating room, improving access to healthy foods, sustainable procurement, reducing energy waste and increasing use of renewables, reducing water consumption and implementing sustainable transportation and green building initiatives.
In addition to the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award, Practice Greenhealth recognized Stony Brook with:
- Two Circle of Excellence Awards as a Chemical Circle Honoree and Transportation Circle Honoree
- The Circle of Excellence Awards celebrate hospitals that have not only earned an award for all-around sustainability achievement but have also been identified for their top-scoring programs in each category of sustainability.
- Greening the OR Recognition Award, which honors facilities that have made substantial progress in reducing the impact of the surgical environment and improving environmental performance in the operating room. For example, cutting back on the use of blue wrap and transitioning to the use of reusable containers, identifying and removing unused items in surgical packs and installing LED lights to help reduce OR waste.
“At Stony Brook University Hospital, our strong commitment to sustainable healthcare has led the way for others in the region, and our sustainability program has grown considerably over the years. It’s so gratifying to know that the work we are doing is valued and appreciated,” said Carol Gomes, CEO of Stony Brook University Hospital. “We are honored to receive this recognition from Practice Greenhealth and take pride in knowing that our continued efforts will have a positive impact on our patients, staff and the community for years to come.”
Some of the hospital’s sustainability achievements during the past year include:
- The complete elimination of ethylene oxide usage and removal of associated equipment (sterilizers/aerators and abators) from the Central Sterile Services Department.
- A partnership with Stony Brook University to increase hospital composting by 10 percent.
- An increase in the hospital’s off-site recycling quantities by eight percent with the collection of corrugated cardboard from two new off-site units.
- The addition of a sustainability question to the hospital’s Employee Engagement Survey to establish a baseline metric for staff awareness of the hospital’s Healthcare Sustainability Program.
- A harvest of close to 1,300 pounds of produce from the hospital’s Stony Brook Heights Rooftop Farm.
The hospital’s commitment to sustainability efforts has been recognized for many years, dating as far back as 2006 with its first award: the Making Medicine Mercury-Free Award. Since then, SBUH has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Practice Greenhealth Top 25 Hospitals Award, the Partner for Change Award, the Greenhealth Emerald Award, Greening the OR Award and Chemical Excellence Award.
“I am delighted that the great efforts of many staff members, both clinical and non-clinical, have been recognized again by Practice Greenhealth. Many people, from housekeepers, to transporters, to laboratory workers, to clinical staff and management, make day-to-day decisions keeping in mind our ongoing commitment to reducing the hospital’s environmental footprint,” said Barbara A. Boyle, director of Healthcare Safety, Environmental Health and Safety, Division of Enterprise Risk Management. “Strong leadership and empowered staff have led to this outcome. These awards serve to strengthen our resolve to continue working on sustainability issues.”
This May, Stony Brook Medicine and Stony Brook University also received the Outstanding Commitment to Energy Efficiency award from the New York Power Authority for an aggressive strategy to reduce energy consumption and decrease greenhouse gas emissions throughout the university.
There are 28 members of the Sustainability Steering Committee who lead or participate in a number of working groups, and many other individuals throughout the hospital who significantly contribute to the success of Stony Brook’s sustainability program on a daily basis. Visit Stony Brook University Hospital’s Sustainability website to learn more.