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Allina Health celebrates Earth Day by pledging to The Health Care Climate Challenge

Minneapolis (April 22, 2022) — Allina Health is pleased to announce its pledge and commitment to The Health Care Climate Challenge, a global commitment to implement sustainability actions and changes within healthcare operations that will reduce our environmental footprint and reduce the collective impact of health systems across the U.S. and around the world.

The Health Care Climate Challenge has over 300 participants, representing the interests of more than 28,000 hospitals and health centers in 42 countries and is based on three pillars:

  • Mitigation – Reduce health care’s own carbon footprint
  • Resilience – Prepare for the impacts of extreme weather and the shifting burden of disease
  • Leadership – Educate staff and the public about climate and health and promote policies to protect public health from climate change

“As one of the region’s largest health care providers, taking care of our environment is critical to ensure good health for our patients, our employees and our community,” said Lisa Shannon, president and CEO of Allina Health. “Allina Health’s sustainability program contributes to our Whole Person Care strategy, living out our value of stewardship, and minimizing the impact our physical footprint has on the communities we serve. Our pledge to join The Health Care Climate Challenge strengthens our commitment to protect our communities.”

 

As part of our commitment to sustainability, Allina Health has also committed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for major new construction projects.

In 2021, Allina Health received the Environmental Excellence Award by Practice Greenhealth for sustainability efforts at Abbott Northwestern Hospital including waste, energy, and water reduction projects and starting a Greening the Operating Room initiative. One initiative that resulted in major sustainability improvements was the Desflurane (anesthesia gas) reduction project. The project enabled Abbott Northwestern to avoid 63.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, which is a 63.5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from anesthetic gases and is the equivalent of 226,874 miles driven in a gas-powered passenger vehicle.

“While Earth Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability, Allina Health’s year-round commitment to sustainability goes deeper,” said Suzanne Savanick Hansen, environmental sustainability specialist at Allina Health. “Throughout our organization, our commitment to environmental sustainability refers both to our overall approach and to a collection of efforts and projects occurring across the system and at individual business units.

Examples of sustainability efforts and projects at Allina Health include:

 

Energy Reduction:

The Abbott Northwestern Revitalization Project will greatly contribute to energy reduction by upgrading the hospital’s Central Utility Plant. The replacement of 1950s boilers and outdated emergency power generators and will result in significant CO2 mitigation. In addition, we are replacing 929 fixtures in stairwells and commons areas with LED lighting, which will save 80-95% of current energy use.

 

Waste Reduction:

Allina Health uses Rheaply to inventory various assets (including equipment, furniture, and supplies) that were no longer needed at one Allina Health facility but could be redistributed and reused at other Allina Health locations or donated. In 2021 a half-ton of waste was diverted from landfills or incinerators, resulting in $30,000 in savings.

In addition, our Food to Hogs program resulted in 47 tons of waste being diverted from landfills.

Green Building:

More than 86-percent of waste (1,176 tons) from the demolition and construction for the Abbott Northwestern Revitalization Project was recycled from March –August 2021.

In addition, the Abbott Northwestern Transportation Hub, part of the revitalization project, will feature a bike center sized for 200 bikes to promote green commuting, we have received a grant for a pollinator/storm water project and are installing a Community Solar Garden, which will provide  approximately 1 megawatt of solar energy, which is enough to power 250 homes.

Product Purchasing:

In 2021, Allina Health committed to purchasing 30% recycled copy paper system-wide along with beginning a paper reduction program. Annual savings expected:

  • 2150 trees
  • 910 million BTUs of energy
  • 930,000 lbs. CO2
  • 170,000 gallons of water
  •  7,000 lbs. of solid waste

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 not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 10 hospitals / 13 campuses, 15 retail pharmacies, and many specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services.