Sutter’s Self-Prescribed Eco-Rx Shows Impact
Organization snags 2019 SEAL Business Sustainability Award; Employees and leadership charged up to do more in 2020!
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sutter has dialed up its sustainability efforts in recent years. The not-for-profit organization’s environmental stewardship committees have made major strides towards minimizing waste, increasing energy efficiency and creating healthier communities for patients and their families.
In 2019 alone, Sutter completed five solar power projects, launched a pilot program to reduce the amount of harmful anesthetic gasses released into the atmosphere during surgeries, and increased plant-based meals by 20 percent in its hospital cafeterias.
For strides like these—and more, Sutter received a 2019 SEAL Business Sustainability Award. SEAL –Sustainability, Environmental Achievement and Leadership – honored the organization for stepping up as one of four founding members of the California Health Care Climate Alliance. The alliance brings significant healthcare experience and a combined voice to the legislative and regulatory process to advocate for and enact climate-smart policies. Additionally, Sutter was recognized for having developed a comprehensive sustainability campaign focusing on several key initiatives, including energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction, for which it showed results.
“At Sutter Health, caring for our planet is integral to our mission of fostering healthier environments,” said Steve Lockhart, M.D., PhD, Sutter Health chief medical officer and executive sponsor of Sutter’s Environmental Stewardship Program.
Sutter Takes a Proactive Approach to Sustainability
As the organization looks to the decade and environmental challenges ahead, its commitment to sustainability has never been stronger. Here are three ways Sutter is continuing to address sustainability across its integrated network:
• The organization is a major supporter of MedShare, a non-profit that delivers surplus medical supplies and equipment to communities in need around the world. In the last 10 years, Sutter has contributed more than $11 million worth of lifesaving medical supplies to improve global health and has eliminated 1 million pounds of waste, such as patient beds, from reaching landfills.
• Sutter recently received a major grant from the State of California for a pilot program where ten of its hospitals—Memorial Hospital Los Banos; Memorial Medical Center; Sutter Tracy Community Hospital; Sutter Amador Hospital; Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital; Sutter Davis Hospital, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento; Sutter Roseville Medical Center; Sutter Solano Medical Center and Sutter Surgical Hospital North Valley—are donating leftover food to local nonprofits to feed the hungry. As part of this grant, Sutter will be able to track where the food goes across Northern California and show its impact.
• Sutter’s Building Renewal Program is also making significant investments in existing buildings with the goal of creating greater efficiency and reducing emissions. Solar panels have been installed at seven campuses across the network, which represents a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 7 million pounds per year. This is equivalent to the GHG emissions for 674 passenger vehicles driven for one year or the CO2 emissions from 3.5 million pounds of coal burned for one year. In 2020, the team is evaluating many more campuses to see if installing solar is viable. Sutter is also continuing its electric vehicle charging station program.
Pledging to Do More
Sutter Health recognizes healthcare’s role in climate change. As such, it is prepared to do what it can to support Northern California’s dynamic ecosystem for the better. This commitment extends to Sutter’s nearly 60,000 employees.
“Each of us can play a role—even by making one small change to our daily routines,” said Dr. Lockhart.
Employees across Sutter’s integrated network have been invited to take a sustainability pledge to commit to making a positive impact on the environment, at work and at home in 2020.