Dell Children’s Medical Center Named Top Performer in Environmental Stewardship

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PORTLAND, Oregon – (June 19, 2015) – Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas has won the most prestigious environmental achievement award given by Practice Greenhealth, a leading health care community that empowers its members to increase efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care.

Practice Greenhealth’s Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards recognize 25 U.S. health care facilities setting the highest standards for environmental practices in health care. Award winners are chosen from hospitals that have the highest scores using Practice Greenhealth’s thorough scoring and evaluation system.

Dell Children’s also was a multiple winner of Practice Greenhealth’s new Circles of Excellence Awards, which recognize hospitals for outstanding performance in specific topic areas. Central Texas’ only dedicated children’s hospital was among the 10 honored in the Water, Energy and Green Building categories.

“Dell Children’s has been recognized in the past for sustainable design and construction practices, but these awards recognize sustainable operations practices,” Michele Van Hyfte, Ascension Seton environmental stewardship manager, said. “The data collected will serve as a benchmarking and goal-setting tool to further advance Dell Children’s green operations and to increase green practices at Ascension Seton’s other hospitals.”

The Water Circle recognized 10 hospitals for exemplary programs in water conservation and efficiency. These early adopters boast fewer gallons of water consumption per square foot, implemented and track conservation projects, have written plans to reduce water consumption over time and have water tracking mechanisms in place.

The Energy Circle celebrates 10 hospitals that lead the sector in energy efficiency. They track energy use intensity and ENERGY STAR performance metrics and share details on project implementation and staff engagement strategies.

The Green Building Circle was presented to 10 U.S. hospitals that demonstrated green building achievements over the past five years. These hospitals emphasize policies that show commitments to energy and water efficiency, safer materials, regional sourcing, integration of nature and other mechanisms to create high-performance healing environments.

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented in Portland at the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition, a national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability.

Ascension Seton is a member of Ascension. In 2011, Ascension created an Environmental Stewardship Program that sets goals for sustainability initiatives and tracks metrics in nine categories:

• Leadership and Infrastructure
• Education and Communication
• Energy Efficiency
• Water Conservation
• Waste Management and Reduction
• Food Systems
• Sustainable Site and Transportation
• Chemical Management
• Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Ascension worked with Practice Greenhealth, Health Care Without Harm, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Catholic Health Association and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering to create the program. Since tracking its energy use beginning in 2008, Ascension facilities has achieved a 13.8 percent reduction in gas and electric consumption, which translates to $43 million in cost avoidance and almost 720,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions reduction.

Ascension is currently ahead of schedule in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge to reduce energy use by 20 percent across all hospitals in the system by 2020.

About Practice Greenhealth

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit www.practicegreenhealth.org.