Sustainable solutions assist healthcare facilities in
using environmentally preferable services
LAKE FOREST, Ill., April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/
--Stericycle, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRCL) today announced it has
become a member of Practice Greenhealth, a nonprofit
organization spearheading positive environmental stewardship
and best practices in the healthcare community.
Stericycle also announced it is one of 15 members of the
Practice Greenhealth (PGH) Environmentally Preferable
Purchasing (EPP) Business Leadership Coalition leaders. This
group assists healthcare facilities in greening supply chains
and purchasing products which focus on processes that are
less hazardous to the environment.
As a member of the EPP Coalition's Greening the Supply
Chain Initiative, Stericycle is helping to shift the health
care market to more environmentally preferable services for
managing all waste streams. Hospital senior leadership is
ultimately responsible for all waste from the time it's
generated to the point that it is safely and legally
disposed. Leaders who make a commitment to uphold water and
air quality are protecting the environment from hospital
waste. Approaches include reducing drugs from the public
water system, using reusable sharps containers to minimize
landfill use, and increasing recycling percentages across all
More than ever hospital leaders are prioritizing and
implementing sustainable practices to minimize their
environmental footprint and comply with complex regulatory
standards. As the American healthcare sector accounts for 8%
of the total U.S. carbon footprint(1), these leaders are
acutely aware of the environmental and economic impact of
becoming more green.
Evidence of this priority is seen from a Practice Greenhealth
survey of 1,550 hospital leaders in 2009 that found 67% have
a committee in place to lead their facility in environmental
sustainability planning. Additionally, data from 2009-2010
Stericycle Lunch & Learn education seminars, found that 54%
of 1,200 respondents representing 600 hospitals had
established formal green teams.
Many healthcare providers are choosing to reduce, reuse, and
recycle waste. Stericycle partners with hospitals by first
evaluating 10 different waste streams to assess reduction
opportunities. With up to 80% of waste streams being highly
regulated, Stericycle works to ensure hospitals are compliant
with current regulations and standards.
Evaluating all options for reducing waste, hospitals can opt
for reusable sharps containers that decrease carbon
footprints. Each reusable container keeps 600 disposable ones
out of the landfill. A Carbon Footprint Estimator tool(2)
measures the hospital's impact to include annual data on
the pounds of plastic and cardboard diverted from landfills.
This number equates to specific gallons of gas not burned.
Since 1986, more than 111 million disposable containers have
been kept out of U.S. landfills by facilities using
Recycling to reduce waste is one strategy that benefits
hospitals by engaging all employees. A Stericycle 2010
healthcare waste stream survey of 400 U.S. hospitals found
that the average hospital recycles less than 14% of its total
waste - highlighting opportunity for improvement. Currently,
PGH's Hospital Partners for Change have an average
percentage of recyclables from total waste of 27%(3) (the
high is 35%).
Many services used in health care have environmentally
preferable alternatives that can eliminate hazardous waste,
save energy and water and help reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. Stericycle facilitates evaluation of alternative
materials and provides compliance training that may reduce or
eliminate environmental impact and assures compliance with
complex regulations and Joint Commission standards.
To learn more about Practice Greenhealth's Greening the
Supply Chain initiative and the EPP Business Leadership
Lake Forest, IL-based Stericycle (NASDAQ: SRCL)
is a leader in healthcare-related services that protect
people and reduce risk. With more than 552,000 customers
worldwide, Stericycle has operations in North
America, Europe, Latin
Americaand Japan. Visit www.stericycle.com.
(1) The University of ChicagoMedical Center,
SOURCE Stericycle, Inc.