Atlantic Health System recently received the New Jersey Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award and was named among the organizations and individuals that have moved the state forward on significant issues, including climate change, recycling, clean drinking water, and environmental justice.
“We are truly honored to be recognized among the leaders in our communities who are working to make our state environmentally sustainable,” said Nikki Sumpter, Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for Atlantic Health System. “Implementing sustainable strategies in the delivery of care not only has a positive impact on the environment, but also complements our commitment to quality and diversity. The effect this has on the communities we serve is multi-fold.”
Atlantic Health System was recognized in the Healthy & Sustainable Businesses category with the Murphy administration highlighting its achievements in reducing the carbon footprints of its medical centers, implementing aggressive changes in high-waste areas such as ORs and finding new ways to reduce waste and reuse common medical materials.
Specific Overlook examples include:
Overlook Medical Center’s tri-generation power plant has had the most significant impact on reducing the organization’s carbon footprint. It can generate electricity on site by harnessing the waste heat produced by the generators and substitutes steam formerly created by boilers.
Starting in 2019, Overlook has been repurposing surgical blue wrap – the material used to cover sterile surgical instruments and materials – into reusable tote bags, as well as ponchos and sleeping bags, some of which have been donated to Summit’s homeless. The wrap is made of polypropylene, which is lightweight and durable – and also incredibly non-biodegradable, and a large source of hospital waste. Overlook Medical Center uses – and discards – about 15,000 pounds of blue wrap each year, much of which can now be repurposed.