Allina Health earns two Environmental Excellence Awards

MINNEAPOLIS (July 19, 2022) —Allina Health‘s United Hospital, Regina Hospital, River Falls Area Hospital and Abbott Northwestern Hospital have all been named recipients of this year’s Greenhealth Partner for Change Award by Practice Greenhealth. Practice Greenhealth also announced Allina Health’s St Francis Regional Medical Center, Owatonna Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Buffalo Hospital, Cambridge Medical Center and Faribault Medical Center as recipients of the Partner Recognition Award. 

The 2022 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards recognizes health care facilities across the country who have accomplished groundbreaking sustainability initiatives and place a strong focus on environmental stewardship. Allina Health’s award-winning sustainability initiatives span across many different areas, including waste reduction and recycling, energy efficiency, purchasing and sustainable landscaping. 

Allina Health’s United Hospital, Mercy Hospital and St Francis Regional Medical Center have committed to pursue waste reduction by converting their food waste into food for hogs. The hospitals send their leftover food to Barthold Farms, where nearly 3,800 hungry pigs await. Abbott Northwestern Hospital sent their food waste to Second Harvest Farms North. Because of these hospitals’ sustainable efforts, in 2021 more than 288 tons of hospital food waste has been saved from landfills and more than $27,500 has been saved in waste hauling fees.

Allina Health’s Regina Hospital and River Falls Area Hospital have successfully launched site-specific green teams, focused on sustainability issues at their local sites and community. Apart from working toward energy efficiency, materials and resources and recycling and reuse goals, both hospitals have worked with MN Wastewise on their waste assessment and have utilized Rheaply; an online service that has enabled employees, facilities and external partners to exchange and reuse surplus furniture and supplies.

Allina Health’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital has also implemented several methods to improve sustainability, such as a sustainable landscaping plan aimed at minimizing its carbon footprint, beautifying the campus, conserving water and promoting carbon sequestration. One of Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s major sustainability improvements was the LED light project which consisted of switching out lighting in common areas with high-efficiency LED lighting tubes. The project is expected to reduce Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s energy use by 80-90% and has already helped the hospital achieve 2-million kilowatt-hours of annual energy savings.

Other Abbott Northwestern Hospital sustainability accomplishments include spearheading the health care system’s first Greening the Operating Room project with a focus on re-introducing a blue wrap recycling program in 2020. It has also invested in building a Central Utility Plant and a Transportation Hub with a community solar garden and pollinator plantings along its slope. You can learn more about how Abbott Northwestern Hospital is committing to sustainability by checking out the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Campus Revitalization Program website.

“We are greatly honored to be recognized by Practice Greenhealth for the work our hospitals have done to reduce waste and use energy more efficiently to improve the environment,” Suzanne Savanick Hansen, Allina Health sustainability manager said. “With Allina Health’s focus on being good stewards of our environmental resources through our Whole Person Care commitment, we will continue to work towards a more sustainable version of healthcare.”  

Practice Greenhealth, is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. The organization recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve programs to address sustainable operations, reduce and recycle waste, lower energy and water use, source more sustainable products and more.

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A nonprofit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 12 hospital campuses, 14 retail pharmacies, and many specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services. Learn more at and join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.