INNOVATIONS: Sustainability in the Health Care Industry

This August the blog features new green initiatives, technologies, and innovations.  We hope you’ll take away some insight and ideas about how you can work to green your organization, regardless of your industry!

It’s always puzzling to come across a company or industry that exists in large part to affect the betterment of humankind, yet neglects to adopt even the most basic sustainability initiatives.  “Socially responsible” grocery stores and restaurants, law enforcement organizations, NGOs that aim to eliminate disease and famine…we’ve seen countless examples of these groups (you know who you are!) that haven’t even considered sustainability policies. 

So it gives us a warm fuzzy feeling when we think about one group of do-gooders that’s making huge strides to maintain a profitable triple bottom line – the health care industry.  That’s one of the reasons SSC sponsors the GreenCare Awards every year.   While a lot of our clients are Walmart suppliers and mining companies, we also work hard with health care groups to accomplish their sustainability goals. 

We like to give recognition to the folks who work as hard as we do in health care.  The folks at Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) work to implement ecologically sound and healthy alternatives to health care practices that pollute the environment and contribute to disease.   We’re specifically excited about the HCWH’s innovative approaches towards waste management.  Mercury, PVC and phthalates, flame-retardants, electronics, cleaners, and pesticides – these are all potentially lethal by-products of health care operations.  HCWH works with hospitals to not only reduce the amount of all waste generated, but to implement new, safer no-burn technologies to effectively treat and disinfect medical waste.  You can learn more about their waste management initiatives here

By the way…we have a number of resources that are appropriate for the health care industry.  Check out our Build a Customized Green Team toolkit, and download a couple of our free white papers, including Cut the Wrap! Packaging Waste and Strategies for Mitigation and Reduction and The New Way to Shine: A Guide to Greening Your Cleaning