Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook is not just the only university-based hospital on Long Island, it is the first hospital in the nation to pledge to reduce its environmental impact through a comprehensive agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The hospital and EPA today signed an agreement that outlines goals and strategies for energy and water conservation, solid waste management, green design and the use of environmentally-friendly products. Stony Brook University Hospital will track the results of these efforts and submit reports to EPA every six months.
“This agreement shows that a medical institution like Stony Brook University Hospital can provide world-class medical care while taking steps to protect the environment,” said EPA Acting Deputy Regional Administrator Barbara Finazzo. “This comprehensive agreement not only addresses broad issues like energy and water usage, but also those unique to the health care sector, like using environmentally-friendly medical supplies.”
“This MOU formalizes the hospital’s continued commitment to be an environmentally conscious healthcare institution,” said Stony Brook University Hospital CEO Steven L. Strongwater, M.D. “Our relationship with the EPA is a true indication of our commitment to continually improve out programs by reducing waste, minimizing the use of hazardous materials and preventing pollution of our valuable resources. It is another step in the process toward becoming a world class healthcare institution.”
The following are highlights of the agreement between Stony Brook University Hospital and EPA. The hospital will:
- Join EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, which offers technical assistance for audits, benchmarking and reduction plans, and strive to reduce energy by 10 percent. Under the agreement, Stony Brook University Hospital will also conduct a campus-wide energy audit with the goal of increasing campus energy efficiency.
- Recycle some 180 tons of cardboard and 5 tons of bottles and cans each year.
- Join EPA’s WasteWise program, which provides technical assistance for the development of waste reduction and recycling plans, including the setting of specific program goals.
- Design all new facilities to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard. LEED is an internationally-recognized green building certification system aimed at improving energy and water efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving indoor environmental quality, and conserving resources.
- Consider the use of coal combustion products, where appropriate, in future construction projects. The use of coal combustion products in place of Portland cement significantly reduces energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and concrete costs.
- Utilize clean construction equipment that reduces pollution from conventional diesel fuel-powered construction vehicles and equipment by requiring the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel or best available pollution control retrofit technologies.
- Install WaterSense products where possible in the renovation or upgrade of existing buildings as well as in new buildings, and install low flow toilets and faucets in new construction and renovations. WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, certifies toilets, faucets and irrigation equipment that use at least 20 percent less water than conventional products.
- Reduce sterile blue wrap by switching to reusable rigid containers for packaging, transporting and storing medical instruments.
- Eliminate the use of mercury and plastics containing PVC/DEHP, and communicate commitment to PVC/DEHP-free purchasing to contractors and vendors.
- Employ recommendations from EPA’s GreenScapes program to reduce landscaping materials and high maintenance plants, reuse landscape materials where possible, recycle organic materials and purchase landscaping products that are environmentally-friendly.
- Recycle computer components, which often contain harmful metals and chemicals, through the use of an electronics recycling firm.
- Continue reprocessing medical equipment, including oxisensors, blades, burrs, bits, guide wires and catheters, and utilizing reusable containers for disposed needles.
- Continue to participate in EPA’s RecycleMania, an annual recycling competition among colleges and universities. The hospital collected some 420 tons of recyclables for the competition during 2007 and 2008.
EPA has similar agreements in place with the New York Jets and New York Giants for the new Meadowlands Stadium, the New York Mets for the team’s new Citi Field stadium, the Destiny USA mall project in Syracuse, the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J., St. John’s University in Queens, and Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, N.J. For more information on EPA green construction and operations agreements, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/greenteam/. For more information on Stony Brook Hospital, visit http://www.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/home/.