Valley Health signs monumental environmental pledge

Valley Health System has joined more than 800 U.S. hospitals and thousands of other organizations across the country by signing the Health Care Sector Climate Pledge.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, in partnership with the White House, developed the initiative to mobilize the U.S. health care sector in driving down greenhouse emissions, improving the environment and helping focus industry response to climate challenges. In addition to reducing their carbon footprint, signatories also commit to producing detailed plans to prepare their facilities for both chronic and acute catastrophic climate impacts.

Valley, and others, have specifically pledged to, at minimum, reduce organizational emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050; publicly report on progress; designate an executive-level lead for their work; conduct an inventory of Scope 3 (supply chain) emissions by the end of 2024; and develop and release a climate resilience plan for continuous operations by the end of 2023.

Valley Health CEO Audrey Meyers said the system is proud to join a growing list of leading organizations in the health care sector and related industries that have committed to addressing the potentially massive impacts of climate change.

“Valley has pledged to lower greenhouse gas emissions, building more climate resilient infrastructure and more, as part of the Health Care Sector Climate Pledge,” she said.

Valley has a longstanding commitment to sustainability and for years has been recognized by national organizations, including Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care, Valley officials said.

In keeping with this commitment, sustainability has been a key guiding principle for the construction of Valley’s new hospital, the heart of a 40-acre health and wellness campus in Paramus. The project was planned, constructed and will operate in alignment with the principles of health care sustainability.

The campus will include a cogeneration plant that will produce anywhere from 35-45% of the building’s power. Cogeneration uses what would otherwise be wasted heat to produce additional energy benefits. As a result, Valley anticipates about 9,000 tons in carbon emission reduction.

Valley also anticipates its new hospital will achieve gold-level status for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification in several categories, including space usage, water conservation and use of natural light.

One hundred two prominent health companies in the U.S. have signed the White House/HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge, including organizations representing 837 hospitals as well as leading health centers, suppliers, insurance companies, group purchasing organizations, pharmaceutical companies and others.