Allina Health earns national award for environmental sustainability

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (May 30, 2024) — Allina Health’s sustainability efforts have earned the health care system multiple awards from Practice Greenhealth, including the 2024 System for Change Award for the second consecutive year.

 "We are proud of the steps we are taking to minimize any harmful impact our work has on the environment," said Suzanne Savanick Hansen, Allina Health’s manager of Environmental Sustainability. “We understand the environment directly affects our patients’ health. We cannot deliver exceptional care without being mindful of our carbon footprint.”

In addition to the System for Change Award, 13 Allina Health sites earned Practice Greenhealth’s Partner for Change Award: Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Buffalo Hospital, Cambridge Medical Center, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (CKRI) in Golden Valley, Faribault Medical Center, Mercy Hospital, Mercy Hospital – Unity Campus, New Ulm Medical Center, Owatonna Hospital, River Falls Area Hospital, St. Francis Regional Medical Center, United Hospital and United Hospital – Hastings Regina Campus.

Allina Health continues to prioritize an eco-friendly culture and takes micro and macro approaches to accomplish sustainability goals. On the micro level, CKRI – Golden Valley hosts honeybee hives from Kinnickinnic Bees, and the honey is used in the cafeteria. Crews on the Abbott Northwestern Hospital campus intentionally planted native pollinator-friendly plants to support pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Employees maintain the Cambridge Medical Center Employee Giving Garden. The vegetables are donated to a local food shelf.

Systemwide, Allina Health is actively striving to achieve the ambitious objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. These goals align with the international Health Care Climate Challenge. Also, Allina Health has saved $273,500 worth of office supplies and furniture from the landfill through the use of Rheaply - a platform that makes it easier to reuse supplies among system sites.

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

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards recognize 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.

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.