November 28, 2012

Some may consider “sustainability” to be little more than a popular buzzword, but for those of us in healthcare, it’s a concrete imperative. Either we establish American healthcare on an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable basis, or we resign ourselves to a system of “sick care” that serves neither patients nor communities. Let me explain:

Environmental – Nationwide, hospitals produce about 6,000 pounds of waste a day. At Cleveland Clinic, we’ve increased paper recycling, diverted waste from landfills (as much as 30% at some of our hospitals), established environmentally preferred purchasing practices, and found markets for material waste – a program we’re offering to hospitals around the nation. All our major new construction projects target LEED certification, and we’re recycling construction and demolition debris. We’re not only shrinking our carbon footprint, we’re saving money and adding spirit-charging green spaces…

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