Today, Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment presented Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) with the “Maryland Trailblazer Award,” which recognizes hospitals that lead the way with sustainable practices and philosophies that others can replicate. The winners were announced at the annual Environmental Excellence in Health Care Conference at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. The organization acknowledged AAMC’s commitment to pollution prevention and its demonstration of environmental leadership.
“I am continually encouraged by AAMC’s commitment to environmental health and conservation,” said Carolyn Core, senior vice president for Corporate Services and project executive for the new construction at Anne Arundel Medical Center. “It’s wonderful to be the executive sponsor for the E.A.R.T.H. committee, which organizes and promotes green initiatives within our organization. I am thrilled that our efforts toward building a LEED certified facility have been recognized with the Maryland Trailblazer Award.”
Since 2001, AAMC has lowered energy costs 14 percent by conservation efforts that save electricity and water use. The hospital also has recycled 30,000 batteries, provided sustainably produced food for patient and staff meals, and is working to keep potentially harmful chemicals like mercury out of the environment.
In addition to striving for LEED certification, other sustainability initiatives include:
- Use of low-flow water fixtures, saving hundreds of thousands of gallons of water
- Implementing electronic charting, saving an estimated 600 trees since 2001
- Purchasing “Fair Trade” coffee in the cafeteria, which supports greater equity for marginalized producers and workers, mostly in undeveloped countries, by advocating fair prices and workers’ rights
- Utilizing micro-fiber mops, saving more than 250 gallons of water a year
- “Glove Up to Wipe Down,” a nurse-led program that aims to reduce exposure to toxins for both patients and staff.
AMMC is building an eight-story “green” tower that emphasizes the well-being of its patients, staff, community, and surrounding eco-system. The green building is on track to be the first acute care facility in Maryland to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. Its green roof and storm water step ponds will catch and filter rain water to protect Bay tributaries. The use of construction supplies that come from within a 300-mile radius reduces shipping costs and environmental impacts. The new building will use 17.5% less energy and water than comparable hospital buildings. To date, an impressive 92.6% of waste materials were recycled.
MD H2E presents the awards each year to Maryland hospitals that have shown leadership in advancing sustainability in a particular area (or areas) of their operations. The winners represent strong models for other hospitals that are advancing sustainable health care by reducing their environmental footprint and raising the bar on achieving improved results.