Pollution Prevention Resources for Health Care Facilities

State and federal agencies and non-profit entities have many resources to guide healthcare facilities about how to lessen the impact they have on the environment. Utilizing these resources can also help save money and enhance their image as environmental stewards.

State and Federal Resources
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
  • Contact Janet Bowen at EPA if you'd like to be added to the EPA New England Hospital e-mail group. You'll receive regular e-mails on a wide range of timely and important issues directly relevant to hospitals, including information to help reduce environmental impacts of operations and improve compliance with environmental regulations. Also included is information that covers cost savings and environmental benefits that can be attained through improvements in recycling, energy efficiency and water conservation.
  • Learn how becoming a WasteWise partner can help you reduce waste.  Waste Wise members can also benefit from using the Re-Trac tool, a free system to track and standardize waste management data.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding between the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the EPA identifies goals to reduce the impact of health care facilities on the environment.
  • The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) offers advice about procurement, construction, maintenance, and utility management that the private sector will find useful.  As the largest energy consumer in the United States, the federal government developed this site to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy resources at federal facilities.
Other Resources
  • Waste prevention means eliminating waste before it is created. Hospitals and other health care facilities can save money and help the environment. The California Integrated Waste Management Board has put together fact sheets that outline activities implemented by a hospital or have been provided by a medical professional.
  • Article on Green Cleaning in Health Care and links to case studies. 
  • Healthy Hospital Initiative is a national initiative with free resources to improve environmental health and sustainability in the health care sector.  Six areas are targeted: Leadership, Food, Energy, Waste, Chemicals and Purchasing. 
  • Find information on Sustainable Building Materials, design and architecture including "green" building practices and materials, including paints, carpeting, and plastic lumber.
Non-Profit Entities
Practice Greenhealth
  • Practice GreenHealth is the nation’s leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Members include hospitals, healthcare systems, businesses and other stakeholders engaged in the greening of healthcare to improve the health of patients, staff and the environment.
  • Practice Greenhealth offers a wide variety of tools, educational opportunities, and services aimed at greening the healthcare industry. Call them at 888-688-3332 or e-mail them at info@practicegreenhealth.org
Health Care Without Harm
  • Health Care Without Harm  is an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups working together to transform the health care industry so it is no longer a source of harm to people and the environment. 
Recovered Medical Equipment for the Developing World (REMEDY)
  • REMEDY was founded in 1991 by Dr. William H. Rosenblatt, Professor of Anesthesiology at Yale University School of Medicine. REMEDY is a group of health care professionals and others promoting the nationwide practice of recovery of open-but-unused surgical supplies. Their mission is to provide international medical relief while reducing solid waste.  
Sustainable Hospitals Project (SHP)
  • The Sustainable Hospitals Project  provides technical support to the healthcare industry for selecting products and work practices that eliminate or reduce occupational and environmental hazards, maintain quality patient care, and contain costs.  
  • Cleaning in Healthcare Facilities: Reducing Human Health Effects and Environmental Impacts (pdf), April 2009. This paper summarizes the main health and environmental impacts related to conventional surface cleaning; describes a systems approach for designing and implementing healthier and environmentally friendlier cleaning strategies for the healthcare sector; and indicates areas where future research and policy initiatives are needed.

Content last updated April 2017