Sustainability Stories

Florida hospitals are reducing costs through sustainability programs. Sustainable health care is good for patients, staff, and the environment – plus it helps hospitals find costs savings.

Right now, Florida hospitals are using innovative solutions that help to:

  • Prevent, reduce and otherwise make less waste in the health care sector
  • Achieve carbon neutrality in health care
  • Reduce energy and water usage
  • Build, renovate and purchase responsibly
  • Promote environmental sustainability through building design, construction and operations
  • Increase recycling programs
  • Phase out hazardous substances and toxic chemicals

Here’s a few examples of how Florida hospitals are going green and keeping costs down.

Cleveland Clinic – Energy

To meet Cleveland Clinic’s $12 million energy demand reduction target, the hospital focused on caregivers’ workplace behaviors. All caregivers were required to participate in a mandatory online training on energy demand. Since this training program was launched, nearly 37,000 caregivers have received training, 29 caregiver-driven ideas have been implemented and the Cleveland Clinic’s Energy Use Intensity (a benchmark measuring a building’s energy use as a function of its size or other characteristics) has gone down 9.35 percent.

Broward Health –Supply Chain 

In 2010, Broward Health determined that waste had accumulated due to custom procedure kits (CPK), resulting in increased costs. The hospital system worked with a consulting firm to analyze the CPK program, which led to successful identification of areas needing improvements and an action plan that put in place greater efficiencies. The CPK review project yielded an overall 30 percent savings on the $3.4 million annual CPK spend, plus an additional $400,000 surgical single-pull stock keeping unit (SKU) spend, which resulted in the elimination of 24,501 pounds of CPK waste.

Baptist Health South Florida’s South Miami Hospital – Waste Reduction

More than 20 percent of Baptist Health South Florida’s South Miami Hospital’s waste was considered Regulated Medical Waste, which drives up costs and labor. A goal was set to reduce the Regulated Medical Waste to under 10 percent of the total waste stream. South Miami Hospital, in collaboration with a consulting partner, instituted an education campaign, process, and container layout house-wide that facilitated a reduction in red bag waste to 12 percent of the total waste stream within the first year. There was also no visible or reliable recycling program. Once the red bag waste was reduced, South Miami Hospital was able to identify where containers in the trash staging area could be eliminated and moved. This made enough room for the recycling collection containers and the development of a house-wide recycling program. The hospital has saved more than $400,000 on waste disposal costs.

Florida hospitals have made significant impacts as part of a national initiative to encourage hospitals to reduce energy and waste, choose safer and less toxic products, and purchase and serve healthier foods. In just three years, the Florida hospitals participating in this initiative have:

  • Reduced energy usage by 2.5%
  • Increased their recycling rate to 24% of total waste
  • Reduced Regulated Medical Waste to 7.7% of total waste
  • Ensured that local/sustainable food comprised 18% of their food budget
  • Ensured that healthy beverages comprised 68% of their beverage budget
  • Ensured 58% of their furniture spend was on compound-free furnishings
  • Ensured that 46% of the cleaning agents used were Green Seal or Eco Logo products
  • Diverted/recycled 83% of construction and demolition debris