CHI Hospitals Leading the Way as Environmental Champions
In 2007, CHI facilities earned a single national award from Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization that promotes and recognizes environmental responsibility in health care. This year, CHI facilities won 11 Environmental Excellence Awards in three different categories, underscoring how the organization is "going green" by improving energy efficiency, recycling waste and reducing carbon footprints.
St. Joseph Regional Health Network, Reading, PA, was recognized for improving environmental performance by expanding mercury elimination, waste reduction and pollution prevention programs. "When you review facts and data related to sustainability, it doesn't make sense not to develop programs that focus on energy efficiency and environmental responsibility," said Joyce Graham, corporate responsibility officer and risk manager for St. Joseph. "It reduces the cost of doing business. It helps recruit and retain employees who are concerned about things like global warming. It also demonstrates compliance with health care regulations, decreases employees' risk of exposure to hazardous substances and reduces exposure to Superfund clean-up actions. Besides that, you benefit the health of your community and the world."
Graham is optimistic that "green" projects like those at St. Joseph will lead to greater involvement in environmental efforts across CHI. "We hope that everyone will make a commitment to environmental sustainability," she said. "Our goal should be to receive not just individual awards - but a system award."