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Building Sustainability for Our Planet

Atlantic Health’s environmental initiatives continued to build significant momentum in the past year. Energy production via solar and our cogeneration plants is up, and emissions keep moving down. We’re recycling more. We’re targeting more areas for boosting sustainability, including new initiatives for “Greening the Pharmacy” and addressing food waste.

We continue to set the environmental bar for health systems nationwide, winning 14 Practice Greenhealth awards system-wide. We’ve now ranked in the top 12 in the nation for three years in a row. And we’ve earned our first U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR® certifications, for Overlook Medical Center and Morristown Medical Center, with all our hospitals on track to follow.

Our commitment to the environment and sustainability continues to grow stronger and reach further. With the efforts of our leadership and every team member, Atlantic Health is a 20,000-strong force for the good not just of our system, but of the planet.

Energy: Using Less, Producing More


The lights turn on when you enter a room and turn off when you leave. It’s a little thing. But energy has the biggest impact on our carbon footprint, and everything helps. We’re doing big things, too, like building cleaner, more efficient “cogeneration” power plants, and putting solar panels on every roof that’s feasible. We’re even exploring transportation options so our team members can leave their cars at home. It adds up to a smaller carbon footprint and a healthier planet. And that’s good for everyone.  

Waste: Reducing and Recycling

waste bin with bag inside

Use less, reuse and recycle more. We’re recycling at twice the rate mandated by the State of New Jersey. We’ve eliminated single-use plastics, Styrofoam and polystyrene wherever possible, and replaced them with greener alternatives. We’ve received national recognition for “greening the OR,” in part by working with our vendor to recycle the large quantity of blue surgical wrap we use.

Our Top Accomplishments

Energy Stars

With a near-perfect score of 99, Overlook is the first of our hospitals to receive the prestigious ENERGY STAR certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A score of 99 means the hospital is more energy efficient than 99% of similar buildings nationwide. Morristown has also received its ENERGY STAR certification, and our remaining hospitals are all currently eligible for ENERGY STAR.

White House Climate Pledge

Atlantic Health has signed on to the White House/Health and Human Services Health Sector Climate Pledge. By taking the pledge, we are committing to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The pledge also requires that we produce detailed plans to prepare for both chronic and acute catastrophic climate impacts. As a leader in sustainability efforts for the health care industry, we are already well on our way to achieving those goals.

CoGen Power Plant

Morristown’s natural gas-powered cogeneration plant along with its solar array delivers 75% of the facility’s electricity. In 2023, that resulted in savings of $3.3 million — far exceeding the projected $2.2 million savings — and kept 430 metric tons of CO² out of the atmosphere. Overlook’s tri-gen plant is being rebuilt and will be back up by the end of 2024. The new plant will provide 50% of the facility’s electricity, deliver savings of $1.5 million, and slash 432 tons of CO² emissions.

By integrating sustainability into how we deliver care and how we operate our many facilities, we can very directly, effectively improve the health of our communities, which makes our environmental efforts central to how we operate.

Carolyn Brown-Dancy, Director, Environmental Health & Safety-Sustainability Atlantic Health System