|Submission Date||May 29, 2015|
University of Virginia
EN-16: Hospital Network
Administrator, Environment of Care (Health System)
Health System Administration
Is the institution a member of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network?:
Is the institution a member of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative?:
Is the institution a member of Practice Greenhealth?:
A brief description of the hospital’s sustainability initiatives:
The University of Virginia Medical Center was named as the first winner of the Sustainability Award from the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) a national organization of academic medical center in 2012.
The Medical Center is a strong participant in University-wide recycling efforts; approximately 1,000 pounds of plastics, metal and glass, and approximately 55 cubic yards of loose cardboard boxes are collected each week.
The Medical center is committed to green buildings. All new buildings at the Medical Center are required to be LEED certified. The Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center achieved a LEED Gold certification.
The Medical Center and its food and nutrition services contractor, Morrison Management Specialists, work with the Local Food Hub to serve local food and set up seasonal farm stands in Medical Center cafeterias. The Local Food Hub awarded its Institutional Leader Award to the U.Va. Health System for its “commitment to local agriculture through menu planning and food service offerings, thereby increasing the overall demand for local food, enhancing community access, and supporting local economic and agricultural development.”
They actively promote the Reusable Office Supply Exchange (ROSE). Instead of buying new office supplies, such as binders and folders, ROSE encourages employees to collect and redistribute surplus office supplies.
The Medical Center has reduced the number of annual plants used in favor of perennials and native plants, which use less water. Recycled water is used for plants on Medical Center and University grounds.
When possible, the Medical Center uses environmentally friendly cleaning practices and products. For example, the Medical Center has started using no-wax floors, which can be dry buffed instead of using harsh chemicals to strip and wax the floors.
They also operate the Medical Equipment Recovery of Clean Inventory program. Recyclable medical supplies and equipment are sorted and distributed for a variety of uses, including free clinics and medical mission trips. From 2008 to 2011, more than 200,000 pounds of medical supplies were distributed through MERCI.
All computers automatically shut down in office buildings during off-peak hours to reduce energy use. The initiative has reduced the Medical Center’s energy bill, along with its carbon footprint.
The Medical Center’s Sustainability Workgroup sponsors events to provide information on sustainability and conservation. In 2014 the Workgroup began to seek ways to engage employees in sustainability efforts beyond recycling. They found that those who are passionate about sustainability would already practice it at home and at work. Therefore, they shifted their focus to employees who were ambivalent. They devised a strategy to show employees that sustainability was good, not just for the environment, but for their budget. We started our monthly ROSE activity and added a monthly feature. The first initiative related to water conservation. They gave away shower timers, rebate forms for low flow toilets, and rain barrels. During Hospital Week in May 2014, they provided information about composting at home and gave out seeds. At the Fall Sustainability Fair in October 2014, they gave out information on winterizing cars and homes, winter landscaping tips, safe holiday lighting using energy efficient bulbs, etc. Prizes for participating in their activities included a winter car safety kit, energy efficient light bulbs, gift cards for home winterizing projects, and so forth.
The website URL where information about the hospital’s sustainability initiatives is available:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE
staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.