At Rochester Regional Health, we understand that the health of our community, environment, and finances are all intertwined. We’re managing all resources to reduce our overall environmental footprint, and lead sustainability efforts in the Northeast. Hospitals can use more than double the amount of energy as commercial buildings and on average generate more than thirty-three pounds of waste per patient per day -- we’re making Rochester Regional Health the exception.
Our new Sustainability Department is dedicated to help improve the healthcare experience, ensure a healthy environment and lower healthcare costs. We’re reducing waste, eliminating toxins and creating a more sustainable community now and for the future. Our initiatives include:
LEED-certified buildings conserve energy, reduce noise, increase natural light and improve fresh air circulation. The U.S. Green Building Council established guidelines for green building design, construction, maintenance and operations in 2000.
Five new LEED-certified buildings are in development. We created our first LEED-certified building in 2011 and now follow LEED guidelines in renovations and all plans for expansion.
We seek to increase the amount of purchases for goods that have third party certifications ensuring products do not contain harmful chemicals like BPA found in canned goods and bottled drinks.
We are targeting to construct three solar arrays by the end of 2017 that will add up to over one megawatt of solar power. These arrays will provide clean and renewable energy to dozens of our facilities across the Rochester area. Within 5 years, we are aiming to expand our solar program to become one of upstate New York’s largest purchasers of green power.
Recycling is a win-win both environmentally and financially. Through recycling programs, waste removal fees can often be 100% offset by the sale of the materials we provide. We’ve already added more recycling bins and reduced bio-hazardous waste within our facilities, and aim to increase our recycling system-wide by 25%.
LED lights use two-thirds less energy than incandescent bulbs, thus reducing energy use and harmful emissions. Since the beginning of 2016, we have upgraded over 15,000 lamps to LED lights, reducing our impact to the environment and our operating expenses. You can see our upgrades everywhere -- from building interiors and exteriors to parking lots and walkways.
Locally sourced food boosts nutrition, reduces transportation and food waste, and supports growers in our community. It’s simply the right thing to do whenever it’s possible. At Rochester Regional, approximately 20% of the produce we purchase comes from local area farms where we are working with regional suppliers to increase this amount.