Stony Brook University Hospital was among an elite group of organizations to receive the Environmental Excellence Award from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
These awards are presented annually in recognition of each organization’s innovative programs and outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and economic viability. A statewide review committee of 20 representatives from both public and private sectors assisted in selecting the award winners from an array of competitive applications.
“This award from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is validation of the major steps we have taken in developing outstanding environmentally friendly programs and policies,” said Carol Gomes, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Quality Officer, Stony Brook University Hospital. “The Hospital is committed to sustainability and building a healthy environment and community.”
“This prestigious award is especially meaningful coming from the DEC — an organization whose mission is ‘to conserve, improve and protect New York’s natural resources and environment,’” said Jill Kavoukian, Director of Healthcare Safety & Sustainability at Stony Brook University Hospital. “This recognition acknowledges the innovative work accomplished by our dedicated interdisciplinary team at Stony Brook University Hospital. They continue to seek new and more effective ways to improve our environmental performance through conservation, purchasing, reduction, reuse and recycling. It’s a true milestone in our healthcare sustainability journey.”
Stony Brook University Hospital serves as the region’s only tertiary care center and Level 1 Trauma Center. The hospital is leading by example and implementing a progressive and comprehensive sustainability program that reaches beyond facilities to all patient care units, departments, and areas throughout the hospital setting. The hospital now uses full digital image processing and decommissioned its last wet x-ray processor in 2017. In the same year, the hospital’s total recycling tonnage reached 715.39 with a revenue of $25,028. The reusable sharps container program diverted 3.53 tons of plastic from landfill with a costs savings of $6,273. A new program that reprocesses Neptune manifolds was initiated in 2017 which diverted about 7,000 pounds of waste from the landfills saving the hospital $37,000 annually. And, all hospital interior and exterior (streetlights, hospital garage and open parking lots) lighting has been switched to LED lights realizing a 67 percent energy savings due to this conversion. An added benefit is LED lights last longer and are brighter than electric lights.
“I am proud to present this year’s Environmental Excellence Awards to municipalities and organizations demonstrating green leadership by adopting innovative solutions to protect our environment and strengthen our economy,” said Basil Seggos, DEC Commissioner. “Our 15th slate of honorees sets a high bar for other New Yorkers to follow, as we work together to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using energy more efficiently, and safeguard our natural resources for future generations. Congratulations to all of our outstanding award winners.”
The recognition awards were presented at the DEC’s 15th Annual New York State Environmental Excellence Awards Celebration on November 14 in Saratoga Springs, New York.
For further information about Stony Brook Medicine’s Sustainability Program, visit stonybrookmedicine.edu/sustainability/program.