Healthcare Solutions 20 April, 2017

Celebrating Earth Day

As a partner to U.S. hospitals, Stericycle is proud to be a catalyst to help sharpen healthcare facility leaders’ commitments to greening their waste stream operations. Stericycle has the expertise to manage and dispose of a facility's wastes, but more importantly helps these organizations focus on environmental sustainability by reducing, reusing and recycling where possible. We celebrate our collaborative focus with U.S. healthcare facilities this Earth Day.

Healthcare facilities exist to maintain and improve the health of the community. Yet hospitals across the nation generate more than 5 million tons of waste annually, including biohazardous, solid, recyclable, and hazardous wastes, all of which if not managed and disposed properly can directly contribute to pollutants that affect the welfare of people and the environment.

Additionally, hospitals often are one of the largest employers within a community, further compounding their responsibility to protect the quality of the surrounding air, land and water. Earth Day is an important annual reminder for hospital CEOs to look beyond their walls to minimize waste and incorporate cleaner sustainability practices into daily operations. The community landfill is not the ideal final destination for all that waste, which some experts such as Practice Greenhealth1 estimate remains in landfills for 30 years.

Choosing durable hospital items, such as reusable sharps containers, reduces the production and transportation resources necessary to produce new disposable materials. Reusable materials help save money otherwise spent on procuring new supplies. Ultimately reusable products lessen landfill waste and reduce the carbon footprint of each facility. These practices also can help hospitals adhere to regulatory compliance guidelines when it comes to sharps management.

Today, engaged healthcare leaders integrate sustainable practices across the facility through tactics such as Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) and Health Care Climate Council membership. The Council, for example, is a thought leader and change agent in helping the healthcare market decrease climate change and its numerous related health problems.

Smart initiatives to reduce waste have become part of many leading hospitals’ operational DNA. In 1970 when Earth Day began, hospitals’ appreciation for this movement meant celebrating once a year. Today healthcare facilities that partner with Stericycle operate with a year-round rigor applied to awareness and execution of multiple sustainability practices.

Good, sustainable practices equate to great community partners.  Plus, these practices help local and regional municipal leaders meet regulations for mandatory recycling where applicable.

Stericycle solutions protect people, public health and the environment. These important practices tie communities together in a circle of safety and sustainability. Environmentally conscious hospitals can attract patients who favor greener choices when choosing a facility over another. Stericycle celebrates health facilities taking these steps and offers services to help hospitals make a huge impact this Earth Day and all year long.

 
1Practice GreenHealth, March 2016

Posted by Stericycle

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