Sustainability at Hackensack Meridian Health
Committed to a healthier planet, one bold step at a time.
Our Vision for a Healthier Future
At Hackensack Meridian Health, our commitment goes beyond providing exceptional health care. We're on a journey to transform health care through sustainable practices. Sustainability is rooted in our mission to enhance the quality of life for our patients, foster healthy communities, and bring greater value to health care.
A Legacy of Responsibility
We've always cared about our environment and doing what's right for our team members, patients and our communities. Our dedication to minimizing our environmental impact and promoting well-being drives our initiatives. We're implementing strategies to cut emissions, conserve energy, invest in renewable sources, and offer healthy, local, sustainable food.
Path to Carbon Neutrality
Our commitment to sustainability aligns with the Department of Health & Human Services climate goals. We're not just aiming for change; we're taking concrete steps to ensure a healthier planet for future generations. Guided by collaboration, accountability, and innovation, our strategic plan is a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
By 2030, our goal is to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 50%. This commitment drives our investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. To date, we've:
- Invested over $113 million in energy efficiency since 2011, resulting in a reduction of 85 million kWh and 5.3 million therms
- Achieved PEER Gold certification for Hackensack University Medical Center's Central Utility Plant, recognizing our excellence in electricity renewal
Sustainable Dining Choices
Every meal can contribute to a greener future, which is why we offer sustainable dining with locally sourced, plant-forward menus that promote a healthy lifestyle and a healthier planet. Over 57% of our meat purchases are antibiotic-free, helping to reduce the use of antibiotics being consumed. And our commitment to offering sustainably sourced seafood reflects our dedication to responsible consumption.
Serving Less Meat, Better Meat for Improved Health and Climate
By reducing our meat consumption by more than 21% at hospitals throughout the system, Hackensack Meridian Health became the largest health system in the nation to join the Cool Food Pledge, founded by the World Resources Institute to help organizations reduce their climate impact by promoting more plant-based foods. The network reduced its total food-related emission by over 40%, making the network one of the leading organizations in terms of overall reductions.
Building Equity with Community Farmers
We work closely with Common Market, a nonprofit that supports local farmers and producers across the country, helping our chefs build relationships with Black-owned farms, like Geogreens Farms and K&J Organic Farms to both plan and procure produce featured regularly in their retail cafés.
Promoting Safer Environments
At Hackensack Meridian Health, safety isn't just a priority; it's our promise. Our commitment to reducing harmful chemical exposure goes hand-in-hand with our dedication to patient, team member, and community well-being:
- 97% of our furnishings are free from harmful chemicals, creating a safe and healthy atmosphere.
- By utilizing green cleaning practices, we ensure over 95% of our cleaning products are Ecologo/Green Seal certified.
Driving Responsible Purchasing
We are dedicated to sourcing products and services that have minimal impact on human health and the environment. Our waste reduction initiatives allow us to collaborate with suppliers to eliminate unnecessary supplies and packaging. Through these efforts, we're not only reducing waste but also contributing to a more sustainable supply chain.
Empowering Through Education
At Hackensack Meridian Health School of Medicine, students learn about the connection between health and the environment, ensuring environmental health education is part of generations of practitioners to come.
Protecting Pollinators to Preserve Our Ecosystem
Several of our hospitals have installed rooftop beehives to support local ecosystems and promote pollination. These rooftop honey apiaries not only contribute to the preservation of bee populations but also enrich patient and visitor experiences with locally harvested honey.
Cultivating Healthier Habits
Many of our hospitals boast vibrant gardens that promote healthy eating and nutrition education. These gardens supply fresh produce for cooking classes and therapy sessions, nurturing a holistic approach to well-being.
Our Holistic Approach to Environmental Stewardship
- Hackensack Meridian Health Hospitals Recognized Among Top Hospitals in the Nation for Environmental Excellence by Practice Greenhealth
- Hackensack Meridian Health and its Hospitals Recognized by Practice Greenhealth for Environmental Excellence
- Hackensack University Medical Center’s Central Utility Plant Awarded Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) Certification
Message from Our CEO
“At Hackensack Meridian Health, we are committed to enhancing our patient’s quality of life, keeping our communities healthy, and delivering more value in health care as we embrace bold and innovative strategies to create a healthier planet.”
- Robert C. Garrett, CEO, Hackensack Meridian Health