Bellin Health’s Commitment To The Health Of The Environment
Bellin Health and the Environment
For more than 100 years Bellin Health has been dedicated to the overall health and well-being of Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Our efforts include a firm commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation.
Bellin Health is focused on serving its communities in the present while keeping a vigilant eye on the future. In order to maintain our focus on environmentally-friendly initiatives, Bellin has formed a “Green Team” to incorporate the best practices of other organizations and identify opportunities unique to the health system.
The Green Team at Bellin Health
Comprised of individuals from departments and professions across the health system and meeting on a regular basis, the “Green Team” is constantly innovating and taking the necessary steps towards a greener and more sustainable future in health care.
The team has identified and implemented several major initiatives including:
- Reducing total waste-Eliminating and reducing use of non-biodegradable materials such as Styrofoam and increasing recycling by 33%.
Pharmaceutical Waste Program
An internal system for the safe disposal of prescription drugs was implemented, preventing harmful drugs from entering the water system.
Harmful mercury, often present in thermometers and other medical equipment, is almost non-existent within the health system’s facilities.
Bellin uses safe and efficient practices to ensure that surgical equipment is used to its full capacity, offering greater efficiency and reducing overall waste.
Water Saving Mops
Throughout the health system, Bellin utilizes EPA recommended microfiber mops which require less water and cleaning solution than traditional mops to clean the same surfaces.
Energy Saving Light Bulbs
Bellin has reduced the average wattage of its light bulbs to save on energy, and all light bulbs used within the health system are processed with a recycler.
Batteries need to be properly disposed. Bellin has taken the initiative to develop a disposal program that encourages people to bring their batteries to the drop off locations.
It is important to protect the body’s sustainability as well, and for that reason Bellin has implemented a Healthy Dining program. This program allows for healthy options for patients and employees at the dining services within the health system.
- 2009 & 2010 Cintas’ Environmental Award Awarded to Bellin Health as an excellent steward of the environment. As of 2009, Bellin’s green initiatives have saved 967 trees, 21,596 gallons of oil and 397,810 gallons of water.
2009 & 2010 Practice Green Health’s Partner for Change Award
Practice Green Health recognized Bellin Health for its dedication to environmental programs and the path to sustainability. Bellin surpassed the requirements for this award including noteworthy efforts in recycling total waste, mercury elimination, and successful pollution prevention programs.
2010 Practice Green Health’s Making Medicine Mercury Free Award
Bellin received this award in recognition of its mercury elimination plan.
Environmental Commitment Statement
As a health care system, Bellin Health practices good stewardship of the resources entrusted to it. Bellin creates healthy environments for the people it serves as well as its employees. In recognition of the critical linkages between environmental health and public health, it is Bellin’s desire to limit adverse impacts upon the environment resulting from the design, construction and operation of its health care facilities. Bellin considers the life-cycle impacts on facilities generated through sustainable design and construction standards, selection of materials and equipment, and maintenance practices. Bellin utilizes the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC) as a guide for sustainable design, construction and building operation projects.
Bellin will incorporate, where feasible, natural and renewable energy flows. Additionally, Bellin will require architects, engineers and contractors to specify commercially available, cost-competitive materials, products, technologies and processes, where appropriate, that have a positive impact, or limit any negative impact on environmental quality and human health. Overall, Bellin will strive to integrate sustainable design, operation and maintenance practices in building, rebuilding and/or retrofitting facilities to meet regulatory and/or community health needs.
The following are some of the benefits of sustainable design that Bellin seeks to achieve by following this procedure:
*Benefits to building occupants: People who live and work in facilities designed and constructed with sustainable materials and methods have less illness, are more productive, and report higher satisfaction with their indoor environments.
*Environmental benefits: Clean air and water and resource conservation are some of the positive environmental results of sustainable design and development.
*Financial benefits: Decreased energy costs, increased valuation, improved durability, and increased productivity are all potential benefits to sustainable building design.