Hackensack Meridian Health and its Hospitals Recognized by Practice Greenhealth for Environmental Excellence   

Hackensack Meridian Health and its Hospitals Recognized by Practice Greenhealth for Environmental Excellence

June 09, 2023

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive health network, is proud to announce that the health system and its hospitals have been recognized by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to sustainability in healthcare, with several Environmental Excellence Awards. The Environmental Excellence Awards are the nation’s premier recognition program for environmental performance in the health care sector.

“Sustainability is integral to Hackensack Meridian Health’s mission to provide high-quality, compassionate care to the patients and communities we serve,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. “I want to thank our team members for everything they are doing to be innovative environmental stewards. Hackensack Meridian Health is committed to being leaders of positive change in the communities we serve, and that is why we are working tirelessly to advance sustainability initiatives that protect our environment and our patients.”

Three Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals received a Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award, Practice Greenhealth’s highest honor, including: Hackensack University Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Ocean University Medical Center. Hackensack University Medical Center has received this award nine times – every year since it was created. This was Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s third time receiving the award and Ocean University Medical Center’s second time.

The health system received three Circles of Excellence Awards in the Chemicals, Food and Sustainable Procurement categories. The Circles of Excellence Awards celebrate hospitals that have not only earned an award for all-around sustainability achievement, but have also been identified as the top scoring programs for each sustainability category. In addition, the health system received the Greenhealth System for Change Award, which recognizes health systems that are working to set system wide sustainability goals, track data and support implementation.

“By addressing environmental problems today, Hackensack Meridian Health is creating a safer, healthier future for generations to come,” said Kyle Tafuri, vice president of sustainability, Hackensack Meridian Health. “Sustainability is embedded into our culture at Hackensack Meridian Health, and we are committed to increasing our commitment to environmental responsibility, while decreasing our environmental impact.”

Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals also received the following Practice Greenhealth awards:

  • Energy Circle Honorees: Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center - Old Bridge
  • Leadership Circle Honorees: Bayshore Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean University Medical Center
  • Greenhealth Emerald Award Honorees: Bayshore Medical Center, JFK University Medical Center, Palisades Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center - Old Bridge, Riverview Medical Center
  • Making Medicine Mercury Free Award: JFK University Medical Center
  • Greening the OR Recognition Award: Hackensack University Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean University Medical Center

Hackensack Meridian Health has been recognized as a national leader in environmental excellence and is taking deliberate steps to reduce its carbon footprint, including:

  • One of 12 health care organizations nationally to provide information to U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal regarding his committee’s work to combat the climate crisis. The chairman will use these responses to develop ways the federal government can support organizations in operationally addressing their climate impacts
  • One of the original signatories to the White House Climate Pledge, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030. The network is collaborating with the White House, federal agencies, and other stakeholders to create a plan to accomplish this goal.
  • Adopting an innovative food strategy aligned with its population health strategy, reducing its meat consumption by more than 21% at hospitals throughout the system. Hackensack Meridian Health is 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.
  • Partnering with New Jersey utility companies through the Hospital Efficiency Program to create more energy efficient campuses has resulted in an investment of over $115 million.

To view the 2023 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards, click here.

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