Health & wellness

6 Challenges of Healthier Hospitals Initiative

Green guidelines

Hospitals that join the Healthier Hospitals Initiative agree to take on at least three of these six challenges:


Healthier foods Those who prepare hospital food for patients, visitors, and staff will decrease their purchase of beef, pork, poultry, and deli meats by 20 percent. Hospital staff will increase the availability of healthy beverages — water, diet drinks, fruit juice — so they comprise 80 percent of beverage purchases within three years. They will also increase the purchase of local and sustainable food each year by 20 percent.

Leaner energy Hospital agrees to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the amount of energy used by 3 to 10 percent, or the facility agrees to maintain any energy-efficient “energy star” rating that it already has.

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Less waste Hospital reduces medical waste to 10 percent of total waste, recycles at least 15 percent of trash produced, or implements a construction and demolition debris recycling program for major renovations and new construction.

Safer chemicals Hospital agrees to purchase 90 percent of its cleaning products that meet the certification standards of Green Seal or EcoLogo. It will also purchase furniture that is not treated with halogenated flame retardants or stain-resistant perfluorinated compounds and does not contain formaldehyde or PVC vinyl.

Smarter purchasing Surgical administrators should review and eliminate unneeded materials in surgical kits. Increase spending on reprocessed single use devices by 50 percent to reduce use of disposable products.


Engaged leadership Hospital administrators will create a sustainability plan with a budget and person in charge of overseeing efforts to improve conservation.

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