50 of the Greenest Hospitals in America | 2015

No longer simply a place to heal sick people, many hospitals across the nation have taken on the responsibility of being a beacon of health in their respective communities by reducing their environmental footprint.This list features hospitals whose sustainability policies and practices (and in some cases, very construction) have demonstrated a commitment to environmental responsibility.

To develop this list, the Becker's Hospital Review team conducted research and analyzed sustainability information from sources such as Practice Greenhealth, Healthier Hospitals Initiative, the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

Specifically, the editorial team looked at Practice Greenhealth's 2015 Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards and Practice Greenhealth's 2015 Circle of Excellence Awards, which recognizes hospitals that achieved top scores in at least one of the following 10 categories: Leadership, waste reduction, chemical reduction, greening the operating room, sustainable food services, environmentally preferable purchasing, energy efficiency, water conservation, tracking and measuring greenhouse gas emissions and green building achievements.

Hospitals that have committed to all six challenges of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative — including engaged leadership, healthier food, leaner energy, less waste, safer chemicals and smarter purchasing — were also considered. HHI is a national campaign to implement a completely new approach to improving environmental health and sustainability in the healthcare sector.

The EPA's National Top 100 list of the largest green power users and the EPA's ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence Award were considered as well.

Note: This list is not a ranking and is also not an endorsement of included hospitals or associated healthcare providers. The following content should be used for informational purposes only. Hospitals cannot pay to be included on this list and are presented in alphabetical order.

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Advocate Christ Medical Center & Advocate Children's Hospital - Oak Lawn (Ill.). In 2015, Practice Greenhealth recognized Advocate Christ Medical Center & Advocate Children's Hospital as a leader of innovation in sustainability with a Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award, the organization's highest honor for hospitals. [READ MORE]

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital (Downers Grove, Ill.). Another Practice Greenhealth Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award honoree, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital was recognized with three Circles of Excellence awards in 2015 for its work in leadership, reducing waste and reducing chemicals. [READ MORE]

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (Chicago). In addition to participating in all six HHI Challenges, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center is a Practice Greenhealth 2015 Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award honoree. [READ MORE]

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (Park Ridge, Ill.). The patient tower at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital was awarded LEED Gold certification by the USGBC in 2010, making it the first hospital in the Midwest to earn this level of LEED recognition. [READ MORE]

Advocate Trinity Hospital (Chicago). Advocate Trinity Hospital has made many sustainable improvements to its campus since it formed a Green Committee in 2009 and a Green Subcommittee in 2010. [READ MORE]

Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis, Md.). Anne Arundel Medical Center was the first hospital in Maryland to be LEED Gold certified. [READ MORE]

Aria Health Frankford (Philadelphia). Aria Health Frankford opened its doors on the Fourth of July, 1903. Today, this 115-bed hospital strives to care for its community and environment. [READ MORE]

Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak (Mich.). The sustainability programs at Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak have earned the facility a spot in four of Practice Greenhealth's Circles of Excellence — the Leadership Circle, the Less Waste Circle, the Chemicals Circle and the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Circle. [READ MORE]

Beaumont Hospital-Troy (Mich.). Like its fellow hospital in Royal Oak, Beaumont Hospital-Troy has committed to work on all six HHI Challenges. [READ MORE]

Bon Secours Baltimore Hospital. Bon Secours Baltimore Hospital was one of 10 hospitals in the country to receive Practice Greenhealth's Leadership Circle of Excellence Award in 2015. [READ MORE]

Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston). Brigham and Women's Hospital is currently in the process of constructing its 11-story Brigham Building for the Future. [READ MORE]

Bronson Methodist Hospital (Kalamazoo, Mich.). Bronson Methodist Hospital is known for setting some of the highest standards for environmental practices in healthcare, particularly so in pollution prevention, energy conservation, green building design and sustainable food sourcing. [READ MORE]

Cleveland Clinic. Since 2007, Cleveland Clinic has referred to the LEED Green Building Rating System for all new major construction projects. [READ MORE]

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, N.H.). Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center serves a patient population of nearly 2 million people in the New England region. [READ MORE]

Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas (Austin). The extent of Dell Children's sustainability efforts is record-breaking. [READ MORE]

Gundersen Health System (La Crosse, Wis.). In 2008, Gundersen began making efforts toward improving efficiency and developing regional partnerships to produce renewable energy. [READ MORE]

Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center. Over the past few years, HackensackUMC has transitioned to LED lighting, replaced its chillers with new energy-efficient models and used a biodigester to divert roughly 250,000 pounds of food from landfills. [READ MORE]

Harborview Medical Center (Seattle). Since creating its Environmental Sustainability Steering Committee in 2010, Harborview Medical Center has increased its recycling, reduced its regulated medical waste, cut its greenhouse gas emissions, added bike racks and garden spaces and committed to all six HHI Challenges. [READ MORE]

Hoag Hospital-Irvine (Calif.). Hoag Hospital-Irvine opened in 2010 and became one of the first hospitals in California to achieve LEED Silver certification the same year. [READ MORE]

Hoag Hospital-Newport Beach (Calif.).Hoag Hospital Newport Beach is an acute care, nonprofit hospital located on California's Orange County coastline between Los Angeles and San Diego. [READ MORE]

Inova Fairfax Hospital (Falls Church, Va.). The medical and surgical tower built on Inova Fairfax Hospital's campus in 2013 was the first building in Inova's history to be designed and constructed based on LEED criteria established by the USGBC. [READ MORE]

Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore). The list of eco-friendly improvements Johns Hopkins Hospital has made in recent years is lengthy. [READ MORE]

Johns Hopkins Howard County General Hospital (Columbia, Md.).The Medical Pavilion at Johns Hopkins Howard County General Hospital is a LEED-Silver certified facility, and it is the largest LEED-certified medical building in the central Maryland area. [READ MORE]

Johns Hopkins Sibley Memorial Hospital (Washington, D.C.). Sibley Memorial is a nonprofit, full-service, 318-bed community hospital that has served Northwest Washington D.C., since it was founded in 1890. [READ MORE]

Kaiser Permanente San Jose (Calif.) Medical Center. Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center is a 242-bed hospital that participates in all six HHI Challenges and was given the Healthy Food Circle of Excellence Award by Practice Greenhealth in 2015. [READ MORE]

Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center (Hillsboro, Ore.). Westside Medical Center — which opened in August 2013 — is Kaiser Permanente's 38th hospital, but it's the first hospital in the system to earn LEED Gold certification. [READ MORE]

Littleton (Colo.) Adventist Hospital. Littleton Adventist Hospital has been working to promote environmental awareness and develop innovative sustainable efforts since 2008, when it developed its Green Team. [READ MORE]

Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC (Pittsburgh).The USGBC awarded Magee-Womens Hospital a LEED Silver certification for its intensive care and patient care unit expansions in 2013. [READ MORE]

Martha's Vineyard Hospital (Oak Bluffs, Mass.). Martha's Vineyard Hospital may not be very big — the critical access hospital has only 25 beds — but it is still a leader in environmental sustainability. [READ MORE]

Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston). As a Boston-based Partners Healthcare institution, Massachusetts General Hospital is involved in many systemwide efforts to conserve water, recycle dinnerware and biodegradable garbage liners, and collaborate with local vendors and farmers markets. [READ MORE]

Memorial Hermann Health System (Houston). Memorial Hermann is a leader in the healthcare industry in benchmarking energy use and improving energy performance management. [READ MORE]

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York City). As a participant in former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Hospital Challenge, Memorial Sloan Kettering has increased the efficiency of its heating and cooling systems, installed energy-efficient lighting and committed to shutting off computers when they are not in use. [READ MORE]

Metro Health Hospital (Wyoming, Mich.). As a leader in sustainable healthcare, Metro Health's list of green initiatives is long, including a hospitalwide carpooling program, waste reduction program and mercury elimination program. [READ MORE]

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (New York City). Despite being the largest nonprofit, non-sectarian hospital in the country by bed count and among the top two percent of energy users in the New York City metropolitan area, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital works hard to reduce its environmental footprint.[READ MORE]

NorthShore University HealthSystem-Evanston (Ill.) Hospital. Evanston Hospital is home to the LEED Silver-certified Kellogg Cancer Care Center. [READ MORE]

Orlando (Fla.) Health-Dr. P. Phillips Hospital. Dr. P. Phillips Hospital — a full-service medical and surgical facility that serves Southwest Orange County and Orlando's growing tourist population — has implemented many changes over the years to become a green facility. [READ MORE]

Orlando (Fla.) Regional Medical Center. Orlando Regional Medical Center is one of the largest tertiary facilities in the region, with more than 800 beds. [READ MORE]

Ridgeview Medical Center (Waconia, Minn.). In 2015, Ridgeview Medical Center was named a Practice Greenhealth Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award honoree for the second consecutive year. [READ MORE]

Seattle Children's Hospital. Seattle Children's Hospital is a 2015 Practice Greenhealth Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award honoree as well as the recipient of two Circle of Excellence Awards for tracking its greenhouse gas emissions and green building achievements. [READ MORE]

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston. Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston is one of the largest inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the country and the official teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. [READ MORE]

Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital was one of 10 hospitals in the United States to receive Practice Greenhealth's Leadership Circle of Excellence Award in 2015. [READ MORE]

The University of Vermont Medical Center (Burlington). The University of Vermont Medical Center strives to be the greenest healthcare organization in the U.S., and its sustained efforts to reduce energy consumption, waste stream and carbon footprint, as well as increase access to healthy, locally produced foods are widely acknowledged. [READ MORE]

UCSF Medical Center/UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital (San Francisco). Over the years, UCSF has implemented mercury-elimination policies, developed recycling and waste-reduction programs, and committed to building all new campus construction projects to at least the USGBC's LEED Silver standard. [READ MORE]

UH-Ahuja Medical Center (Beachwood, Ohio). University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center was designed to integrate nature and improve sustainability. [READ MORE]

University of Colorado Health-Medical Center of the Rockies (Loveland). In 2009, the Medical Center of the Rookies was awarded a LEED Gold certification, making it, at the time, the largest hospital in the country to earn the designation. [READ MORE]

University of Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore). Sustainability is a major focus of the University of Maryland Medical Center. [READ MORE]

University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers (Ann Arbor). U-M Hospitals and Health Centers has become an industry leader in various green initiatives, including energy conservation, green purchasing, recycling and waste management, and green building. [READ MORE]

University of Washington Medical Center (Seattle). In 2015, the University of Washington Medical Center became a two-time Practice Greenhealth Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award honoree as well as the recipient of three Circle of Excellence Awards. [READ MORE]

VA Portland Healthcare System (Ore.). The VA Portland Health Care System, or VAPORHCS, is a 277-bed facility that serves more than 85,000 veterans each year in Oregon and Southwest Washington. [READ MORE]

Virginia Mason Hospital & Seattle Medical Center. Virginia Mason launched EnviroMason, its award-winning initiative and comprehensive sustainability program, in 2008. [READ MORE]

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