FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2009
DEPUTY MAYOR LINDA GIBBS, HHC PRESIDENT AVILES AND SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR AGGARWALA JOIN HOSPITAL OFFICIALS TO ANNOUNCE ACCEPTANCE OF MAYORAL CHALLENGE TO REDUCE CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS 30 PERCENT IN 10 YEARS
Thirteen of New York’s Largest Hospital Systems Accept Mayoral Challenge
Hospitals Join 16 Universities and Other Large Institutions in Accepting Challenge of Meeting Carbon Reductions Faster than Rest of New York City
Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, HHC President Alan D. Aviles and Sustainability Director Rohit T. Aggarwala today announced that thirteen of the largest hospital systems in New York City, representing 35 individual hospitals, have accepted Mayor Bloomberg's challenge to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent over the next ten years. The hospitals' decision to accept the Mayor's challenge is a critical step toward meeting the PlaNYC citywide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030. These 13 hospital systems will take an inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions and craft action plans for achieving their reductions. The Deputy Mayor, HHC President, and Sustainability Director were joined by representatives from the United States Department of Energy, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the Greater New York Hospital Association. The acceptance of the challenge took place in the atrium at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, a model for green construction and design.
"New York City hospitals are an ideal partner for the 2030 Challenge and we are thrilled such a diverse group has already committed to this important effort," said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. "By working together and sharing best practices we can help meet Mayor Bloomberg's ambitious carbon reduction targets and continue New York's strong track record of leadership on climate change."
Hospitals currently account for an estimated two percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions from New York City buildings. The greenhouse gas reduction achieved by the 13 hospitals impact will be about 285,000 metric tons per year.
As energy intensive facilities, hospitals can save millions of dollars in operating costs by reducing their energy consumption. The Mayor's challenge will connect hospitals with resources tailored to their unique energy patterns and financing needs—enabling them to finance projects in tough economic times.
"Accepting the Mayor's challenge makes good economic sense for hospitals," said Sustainability Director Aggarwala. "Hospitals have more than double the energy intensity and carbon dioxide emissions of a commercial office building, and lower utility bills will help hospitals' bottom line in these tough economic times."
The 13 hospital systems accepting the challenge today are Continuum Health Partners, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, Lenox Hill Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, Memorial Sloan - Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, North Shore - Long Island Jewish Health System, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York Hospital Queens, and Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers.
"We are committed to making a more energy efficient hospital system and look forward to working with our hospital industry colleagues to meet the mayor's ambitious PlaNYC agenda," said HHC President Aviles. "By adopting green principles through better design, construction, operation, maintenance, and demolition – the complete building life cycle – the hospital industry can do more than save energy and limited resources. We will ultimately help to reduce the negative impact on human health and our environment."
The hospitals joining today are committing to a ten year goal of a 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction. Though each hospital's carbon footprint will vary based on its mission, building size, age, and energy-intensive medical facilities, all 13 are working together to share expertise in order to reach this aggressive goal. By reducing their energy consumption – and the related emissions – these hospitals are moving ever-closer to fulfilling their mission of improving the health and well-being of New Yorkers.
"St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan is already hard at work to meet the Mayor's challenge to hospitals to reduce energy consumption. Last year we took steps that decreased water use by 20 percent, our steam consumption by 23 percent, and electricity usage by almost 5 percent," said Henry Amoroso, President and CEO of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. "Looking to the future, plans are underway for a new St. Vincent's that will be the first LEED-certified hospital in New York City built from the ground-up that will create a better healing environment for our patients, staff, and the world around us."
"New York Hospital Queens is proud to partner with the Mayor's office in this valiant effort to turn Queens green," said Vito Cassata, RPh, MBA, Vice President of General Services and Facilities Planning at New York Hospital Queens. "As an expanding hospital and a major employer in Queens with 3,500 full-time employees, we are constantly exploring new opportunities to minimize the impact on our environment. This plan to reduce our hospital's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in 10 years is ambitious, yet achievable. We are excited to get to work."
As mission driven institutions, protecting the environment is closely aligned with hospitals' role of serving the public good and promoting public health. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions has the added benefit of improving local air quality, lowering rates of childhood asthma and respiratory disease. Hospitals are a natural partner to join City government in the fight against climate change.
Jason Post (212) 788-2958