Environmental Sustainability

Our commitment to sustainability

Taking care of our environment is critical to ensure good health for our patients, employees and community.



Practice Greenhealth’s Partner for Change Award

Cambridge Medical Center earned a Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Award in 2023 and 2024. The award recognizes superior performance in a range of different sustainability programs and activities including energy, waste, procurement, and greening the operating room.

In 2022, Cambridge Medical Center earned a Partner Recognition Award. The Partner Recognition Award recognizes facilities that have a commitment to environmental improvements and have achieved progress in several areas of the organization.

Award Winning Employee Garden

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The Cambridge Medical Center Employee Giving Garden is a community garden started in 2015, led by Karla Patrick, the Community Health Improvement Specialist and Wellness Coordinator at CMC. The initiative began with the goal of involving employees in activities that allow them to be healthier in areas of physical activity and healthy eating, as well as encouraging employee engagement with CMC. Employees can sign up to grow fresh produce to keep and donate a share through a sharecropping program. The program has seen success in producing hundreds of pounds of fresh produce each year, approximately 485 pounds total, and a great community engagement opportunity for Allina Health employees to work in the garden and give back to their community.

Karla Patrick earned an Unsung Caretaker Award for her work with the garden from Upstream, a new statewide initiative celebrating Minnesota’s natural places and the people who care for them. Learn more about Karla and her hard work. 


Electric Vehicle Charging

The first electric vehicle charging station in the Allina Health system was installed at Cambridge Medical Center in 2015. The CMC charging station is a partnership with the local utility, East Central Energy. The utility purchased and installed the charger, and the hospital provides the site, covers the software and network costs and provides security monitoring.

Waste Reduction

Blue wrap recycling

Cambridge Medical Center recycles blue wrap, material used to keep surgical supplies sterile. The blue wrap is eventually pelletized and used as a feedstock for making new products. Blue wrap is one of the cleanest material that leaves hospitals, which make it a good recycling feedstock. Merrick, Inc. takes the blue wrap and provides meaningful employment to people with disabilities.

Donations to Matter

Surplus medical equipment and supplies are donated to Matter. Matter sends the material to hospitals and clinics in places like Senegal, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Reusable sharps containers

Reusable sharps containers were implemented throughout the Allina Health system in 2014-2015.

Styrofoam elimination

In 2019, Styrofoam cups were replaced with paper cups across the system.

Recycled Paper

In 2021, Allina Health switched all paper purchasing to at least 30% post-consumer recycled content. This will save hundreds of pounds of wood, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, 93 tons of Co2e greenhouse gases and particulates from polluting the air.