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Center for Sustainable Healthcare

A Greener YNHHS 

Yale New Haven Health is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability, while delivering safe, effective, and equitable care for our patients and communities, today and into the future. The Yale New Haven Health Center for Sustainable Healthcare works with leadership and staff across our health system and Yale University to integrate sustainability principles and practices into all the work that we do.

Just as climate change negatively affects the social determinants of health, activities that promote sustainability can improve health outcomes for those who are most vulnerable. As a leading healthcare provider and Anchor Institution committed to improving the health of our community, Yale New Haven Health is committed to assessing the impact our organizational practices have on perpetuating the effects of climate change and setting a course to reduce our carbon footprint.

Our overarching sustainability initiative areas include Energy, Facilities, Transportation and Supply Chain. Learn more:

Energy

Energy management is a key strategy for Yale New Haven Health. We utilize renewable energy sources, such as purchasing solar power for Westerly Hospital, installing fuel cells for Lawrence + Memorial and Bridgeport Hospitals and our Park Avenue Medical Center, and participating in the clean energy program with the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. In addition, the Smilow Cancer Hospital has a 6,000 square-ft. rooftop garden that provides patients, families, and staff members with greater exposure to nature, which enhances healing. From a sustainability standpoint, it is equipped with an Energy Star-rated “green” roofing membrane to absorb water and reduce runoff.

Facilities

Yale New Haven Health has incorporated “green building” in recent and current construction and renovation projects to improve energy efficiency, water conservation, air quality and the work environment. For example, St. Raphael’s new Neuroscience Hospital Wing is designed to meet the energy and environmental attributes equivalent to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating of Silver. In addition, the furniture and furnishings that YNHHS purchases for patients and employees meet national sustainability guidelines.

 

Yale New Haven Hospital has taken steps to reduce waste and promote recycling. Learn more.

Supply Chain

We are actively implementing sustainability strategies that reduce our energy use and waste generation in the operating room. These “Greening the Operating Room” initiatives include reprocessing medical devices such as laryngoscopes. We use reusable laryngoscopes which have a significantly better environmental impact than single-use disposable laryngoscopes. Since 2013, YNHHS has also stopped using desflurane, an inhaled anesthetic that has a significant negative effect on the atmosphere. We were the first health system to stop using it and publish about its negative impacts, which led to a national movement.

 

Our health system is also committed to sourcing food from sustainable sources and reducing food and other waste in our cafeterias. We work closely with our food service partners, Morrison and Sodexo, to achieve our sustainability goals. Learn more about our sustainability efforts.

Transportation

The use of personal vehicles is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Yale New Haven Hospital's Traffic Demand Management program provides numerous alternatives for commuting to reduce the number of employees using their own cars. These include a free bus service that drops employees off at commuter lots, bicycle storage, special parking for employees who carpool, monthly passes for CT Bus, and paying a subsidy towards the cost of monthly train passes. We were recognized by the State of Connecticut CTRides Commuter program and has been nationally recognized as a “Best Workplace for Commuters” by the Center for Urban Transportation Research for their environmentally friendly program. We are currently partnering with ProPark to convert 100% of YNHH shuttle buses to compressed natural gas by the start of 2022.

 

Learn More about the YNHH Traffic Demand Management Program

 

Get Involved  

To learn about Net Zero and how we can achieve that as a society, please click here for Project Drawdown. Learn about how to be more sustainable in your own home.