North Shore-LIJ (NY) Health System and the Environmental Protection Agency used Thursday's Earth Day celebrations to sign a five-year agreement on wide-ranging environmental stewardship programs.
The memorandum of understanding, signed by EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck and North Shore-LIJ President/CEO Michael Dowling, places the health system's hospitals in Queens, Long Island, and Staten Island into programs for energy and water conservation, solid waste recycling, environmentally sensitive landscaping, combined heat and power plants, sustainable building and construction projects, and green cleaning.
"With a workforce of more than 38,000, the North Shore-LIJ Health System is the largest employer on Long Island and the ninth largest in New York City. We play a leading role not only by providing top-notch healthcare but promoting sustainable business practices to improve public health and minimize our impact on the environment," Dowling said in a prepared release.
"Our collective actions make a tangible difference in terms of reducing greenhouse emissions, conserving energy, wisely using natural resources, and at the same time, benefit from significant cost savings."
Maurice E. LaBonne, North Shore-LIJ's senior vice president of facilities services, said there is an incentive to be energy efficient and cost effective because hospitals operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and continually use power to heat and cool facilities year round.
"Hospitals are well suited to sustainable design and construction because patients often have compromised immune systems; sustainable healing environments contribute to better patient outcomes," LaBonne said.
The agreement calls on North Shore-LIJ to: