Marking the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, North Shore-LIJ and EPA Sign Agreement on Far-Reaching Green Initiatives
North Shore-LIJ is NY area's first hospital system to partner with the EPA on significant environmental and conservation programs
GREAT NECK, N.Y., April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The North Shore-LIJ Health System and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today signed a major partnership agreement on far-reaching environmental stewardship programs, which will have a direct impact on the health and well-being of patients cared for at health system hospitals as well as safeguard the planet.
At a news conference at the Feinstein Institute of Medical Research in Manhasset, Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of North Shore-LIJ, and EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, signed a five-year "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) in which North Shore-LIJ hospitals in Queens, Long Island and Staten Island will participate in voluntary EPA environmental stewardship programs in the following areas: energy and water conservation; solid waste recycling; environmentally sensitive landscaping; combined heat and power plants; sustainable building and construction projects; and green cleaning. Mr. Dowling and Ms. Enck joined more than one billion individuals, corporations and governments in 190 countries taking action to mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day to promote healthy communities and protect the environment.
"Medical professionals work every day to improve the health of people they serve, and the environmentally sound practices in this agreement will help them create a healthier environment for all," said Ms. Enck. "The eve of Earth Day is the perfect time to sign this comprehensive agreement between EPA and an entire health care network."
"With a workforce of more than 38,000, the North Shore-LIJ Health System is the largest employer on Long Island and the ninth largest in New York City, we play a leading role not only by providing top-notch healthcare but promoting sustainable business practices to improve public health and minimize our impact on the environment," said Mr. Dowling. "Our collective actions make a tangible difference in terms of reducing greenhouse emissions, conserving energy, wisely using natural resources, and at the same time, benefit from significant cost-savings."
"Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, hospitals continually use power to heat and cool facilities year-round for patient care, so there is an incentive to be energy efficient and cost-effective," said Maurice E. LaBonne, North Shore-LIJ's senior vice president of facilities services. "Hospitals are well suited to sustainable design and construction because patients often have compromised immune systems; sustainable healing environments contribute to better patient outcomes," he said. For example, improving the indoor environmental quality of the patient experience can reduce stress and anxiety, including features such as providing sunlight or nature views as well as improving indoor air quality.
The following are highlights of the agreement between North Shore-LIJ and EPA.
- Energy Conservation and EnergyStar Building and Plants Program – North Shore-LIJ will strive to reduce energy consumption by at least 10%. This program is highlighted by a Health System-wide energy and water conservation program that was initiated in 2006 and will expand under this partnership. In 2009, Glen Cove Hospital earned the EnergyStar for superior energy efficiency.
- Solid Waste Recycling and WasteWise Program – The health system has implemented a recycling program that includes paper, plastic, aluminum and cardboard and will explore additional opportunities for waste minimization and recycling.
- GreenScapes and Re-use of Industrial Materials – In consultation with the EPA's Greenscapes program, North Shore-LIJ will re-use landscaping materials wherever possible and re-use industrial materials for construction projects. Construction materials will include as much recycled content as feasible.
- Coal Combustion Products Program – The health system will seek ways to increase the use of coal combustion products in construction activities. For example, in the Katz Women's Hospital construction project at North Shore University Hospital, cement will consist of 40% fly ash, one of the waste products from coal combustion.
- Combined Heat and Power Partnership – North Shore-LIJ recognizes that the use of combined heat and power reduces environmental impacts while meeting the demand for energy. At LIJ Medical Center, a combined heat and power plant supplies electrical energy to the campus boiler/chiller operations and supplementary heat for steam and hot water requirements. The health system will seek opportunities to enhance this plant and explore the application of this technology to other hospitals.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – North Shore-LIJ will continue to certify construction projects under the LEED rating system. Currently, there are 25 such projects that are registered with the US Green Building Council for LEED certification. Such certifications further document the health system's commitment to sustainability and environmental protection
Other EPA programs within this MOU are Water Conservation and WaterSense Products, Alternative (or Renewable) Energy, and the Clean Construction USA Program.
In addition North Shore-LIJ plans to certify major construction projects under the LEED rating system. The health system has worked with the US Green Building Council-Long Island to create the Healthcare Committee for the chapter. The following construction projects have been registered with the USGBC:
- Katz Women's Hospital at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset.
- Surgical Pavilion at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset
- Zucker Hillside Hospital Inpatient Pavilion, Glen Oaks
- Cohen's Children's Hospital, New Hyde Park
- Monter Cancer Center Phase II, Lake Success
- Center for Advanced Medicine Radiation Oncology, Lake Success
- LIJ Medical Center, Katz Women's Hospital, floors 8 and 9
- Health Info Team-North Shore-LIJ at Citifield, Queens
"I applaud North Shore-LIJ, for its commitment to energy efficiency and participating in LIPA's Efficiency Long Island Commercial Program," said LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law. "By becoming more energy efficient our commercial and residential customers will see significant savings and help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels."
For more information about North Shore-LIJ Health System, visit:
www.northshorelij.com. For more information on EPA green construction and operations agreements, visit: www.epa.gov/region02/greenteam.
SOURCE North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System