Atlantic Health System and its facilities recognized for environmental sustainability

One of only 12 systems recognized nationwide by Practice Greenhealth

Atlantic Health System recently received Practice Greenhealth’s prestigious System for Change award, recognizing the health care organization’s accomplishments in environmental sustainability.

The health system is one of only 12 in the U.S. to achieve the award. Additionally, each of Atlantic Health System’s medical centers also received Environmental Excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth and this year added a facility to the list of those recognized.

Atlantic Health System’s Chilton Medical Center, Morristown Medical Center and Overlook Medical Center again received the Greenhealth Emerald Award, which recognizes outstanding hospitals from within the Partner for Change applicants. This competitive award recognizes the Top 20% of applicants and is focused on advanced sustainability programs and exemplary scores in a range of categories.

This year, for the first time, the organization’s Hackettstown Medical Center also received the Emerald Award.

Atlantic Health System’s Newton Medical Center again received the Greenhealth Partner for Change Award, recognizing superior performance in environmental sustainability, covering a range of different sustainability programs and activities. Winners have also made substantive progress on mercury elimination. Also, for the first time, the Morristown Medical Center Ambulatory Surgery Center (located adjacent to the hospital) received this award.

All five of Atlantic Health System’s medical centers and the Ambulatory Surgery Center received the Greening the OR Recognition Award, which honors facilities that have made substantial progress in reducing the impact of the surgical environment. Overlook Medical Center was also honored with recognition in special categories with the Food Circle of Excellence Award, and Leadership Circle of Excellence Award.

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care, highlighting success in making health care operations greener. Atlantic Health System has been recognized by Practice Greenhealth consistently for several years, for a myriad of innovative solutions designed to lower the New Jersey-based health care organization’s impact on the environment.

“Integrating sustainability into how we deliver care is one way we can very directly, effectively improve the health of our communities, which make our environmental efforts central to how we operate,” Carolyn Brown-Dancy, executive director of environmental health and safety-sustainability for Atlantic Health System said. “These awards, at each site and for the system, reflect how our team members and our organization have truly embraced the importance of being environmentally responsible.”

In recent years, significant investments in infrastructure have been made in implementing renewable, sustainable energy as a reliable power source for its hospitals. A prime example of this are the solar carports currently being installed throughout the system.

The installation of the solar panel-topped carports, which began in 2022, is estimated to save the organization 8,282 megawatt-hours per year in energy. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the estimated solar energy created will be equivalent to:

  • 5,870 metric tons of carbon dioxide;
  • 1,277 passenger vehicles driven for one year, or more than 14 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle;
  • 1,066 homes’ electricity use for one year.

“In a shifting health care landscape, a focus on sustainability can help build resilience while better protecting the health of patients and the community,” Gary Cohen, Practice Greenhealth founder, said. “Atlantic Health System demonstrates the kind of leadership, innovation and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”

Practice Greenhealth is the leading membership and networking organization for sustainable health care, delivering environmental solutions to more than 1,400 U.S. hospitals and health systems.