Fairview Southdale Hospital earns National Sustainability Award

Fairview Health Services was recently honored by Practice Greenhealth, a national organization dedicated to promoting sustainability in health care, for reducing its environmental impact both on a system-wide level and at individual hospitals.
For the seventh year, Fairview has been honored with the Practice Greenhealth System for Change Award—one of only 20 health care systems in the country to receive the award. The System for Change award recognizes health systems that work cohesively to set system-wide sustainability goals, track data and share successes in environmental performance, according to Practice Greenhealth.
Additionally, Fairview Ridges Hospital, Fairview Southdale Hospital, and University of Minnesota Medical Center East and West Banks were each awarded the Greenhealth Partner for Change Award, which recognizes superior performance in environmental sustainability at the hospital level.
“At Fairview, we continuously strive to provide environmentally responsible health care that improves not only individual lives, but communities as a whole,” said LeAnn Born, Fairview vice president of supply chain. “We have amazing, engaged individuals, active committees and executive support delivering our results at Fairview. We’re proud to be recognized as a leader in driving healthier communities through sustainability.”
Fairview engages in a variety of projects aimed at reducing environmental impact across the system, including waste segregation and minimization, energy-efficient building design, and reduction of carbon emissions, electricity usage and water consumption.
In 2016, the system had a number of environmental successes, including:
• Eliminating Styrofoam from cafeterias across the system, ultimately converting about 2.8 million cups, bowls, plates and to-go containers from Styrofoam to compostable or recyclable containers
• Transitioning to a single-use-device reprocessing vendor to recycle medical devices, which will divert 40,000 pounds of waste from landfills each year
• Recycling more than 1,150 tons of paper, plastic and organic materials
• Using sustainable building design and construction practices in the development of the new Fairview Clinics-Eagan building
“Health care is the second largest generator of waste, and the second largest consumer of electricity,” said April Schumacher, Fairview sustainability coordinator. “Both of these can have large, lasting impacts on the communities where our patients and staff live. Fairview’s sustainability program is designed around the belief that the health of the community is reflective of the health of the environment.”