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U.S. Hospitals Going Green To Save Green


By Cathryn Jakicic Energy Efficiency
Stethoscope over green leaf isolated on white

U.S. healthcare facilities are responsible for nearly 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Now, some systems are taking steps to address this issue and are saving money in the bargain, according to USA Today.

Take the case of Gundersen Health System in in La Crosse, Wis., which employs wind, wood chips, landfill-produced methane gas, and even cow manure to generate power. The system reports a drop of more than 95 percent in its emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter and mercury from 2008 to 2016.

“We’re saving $1 to $3 million a year in hard cash,” says Jeff Thompson, former CEO of Gunderson, which is the first hospital system in the United States to produce more energy than it consumed.

Of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the country, about 1,100 are members of Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit that promotes environmental stewardship. Greenhealth estimates its members average about a million dollars a year in savings.

While the environmental benefits are important, “what I’ve seen over the years is cost reductions are the prime motivator,” says Patrick Kallerman, research manager at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. The Institute released a report this spring outlining ways hospitals can help states such as California reach environmental goals by becoming more efficient.

This Quick Read was submitted by Cathryn Jakicic, Healthcare Industries Editor, FacilitiesNet. For more about hospital campuses and other medical facilities, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/healthcarefacilities.

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