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New York State Pollution Prevention Institute


Hospitals are under increasing pressure to provide high quality care while reducing costs. In addition to improving the environmental health of their communities, healthcare institutions in New York State and around the country are realizing the value of adopting sustainable practices as a means to reduce costs without compromising quality care.

Through hands-on experience, we have developed unique insights and expertise on reducing waste in healthcare environments, and can quickly identify “low hanging fruit” to reduce costs and operate more efficiently.

We understand the complexity of the healthcare environment and the importance of patient care outcomes. When addressing NYSP2I challenges, we work with all the key hospital stakeholders to gather relevant operational data and conduct on-site observations of processes and material handling. After identifying opportunities for improvement and/or savings, we can also perform detailed technical and economic feasibility analyses of the improvement options identified and provide solid estimates around required investments, expected cost savings and anticipated environmental benefits.

Learn more about what NYSP2I has done in this sector. 


Reducing waste and increasing recycling:  A majority of the materials procured by a hospital ultimately become waste – nearly 7,000 tons of waste every day and $10 billion annually in disposal costs across the health care industry. Due to the nature of the healthcare industry, a large amount of regulated medical waste is generated as well. Over 18,000 regulated medical waste (RMW) generators in NYS dispose of an estimated 200,000 tons of RMW annually (548 tons per day). Thus, there is a tremendous opportunity for healthcare institutions to understand their profile and identify and implement initiatives that reduce waste generation, improve waste segregation and adopt recycling.

Reducing energy and water use: Healthcare facilities are the 2nd most energy-intensive facility type across the nation. The American Hospital Association also estimates that hospitals use an average of 139,214 gallons of water per day, or over 50 million gallons per year. The large amounts of energy and water used in healthcare present an excellent area for sustainability research and improvement.

Environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP): EPP is growing across industries, but because of the vast quantity of supplies necessary to provide service, opportunities abound in healthcare. EPP is the practice of purchasing products/supplies whose environmental impacts have been found to be less damaging to the environment and human health when compared to competing products/supplies. Many EPP options are available at similar or lower price as the alternative. NYSP2I developed an Excel-based EPP framework to help purchasers compare products.

Comparative Framework for Environmentally Preferable Purchasing