5 Aspirus hospitals recognized for leadership in environmental sustainability

In recognition of their achievement and innovation in health care sustainability, five Aspirus Health hospitals recently received Environmental Excellence Awards from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care.


Greenhealth Partner for Change Award

Aspirus Iron River Hospital and Aspirus Wausau Hospital received the Greenhealth Partner for Change Award. This award recognizes superior performance in environmental sustainability, covering a range of different sustainability programs and activities. Winners have also made substantive progress on mercury elimination.


Partner Recognition Award

Aspirus Ironwood Hospital, Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital (Laurium, Mich.) and Aspirus Riverview Hospital (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.) received the Partner Recognition Award. This award recognizes facilities that have a commitment to environmental improvements and have achieved progress in several areas of the organization.


“In a shifting health care landscape, a focus on sustainability can help build resilience while better protecting the health of patients and the community,” said Gary Cohen, Practice Greenhealth founder. “The five Aspirus Health hospitals receiving award recognition demonstrate the kind of leadership, innovation and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”


In health care, sustainability means looking at how operations affect the health and safety of the environment as well as the health of patients, employees, visitors and the local community. Systemwide strategies to address sustainability at Aspirus Health include minimizing and recycling waste, addressing chemicals of concern, lowering energy and water consumption, sourcing food and products sustainably, incorporating sustainable features into buildings and grounds, establishing environmentally preferable purchasing criteria, and more.


“At Aspirus Health, we know sustainability is essential to better care for our patients, communities and planet while also making good financial and business sense,” said Andrew Miller, Director of System Facilities Management and Security. “In recent years, we’ve made great strides toward reducing our impact on the environment, and we are committed to doing even more. We’re grateful to the many Aspirus Health team members, clinicians and leaders – as well as to our community and industry partners – who are committed to this work and bring innovation, ingenuity and adaptability to help us improve our footprint.”


Recent sustainability achievements at Aspirus Health include:

  • Conversion to LED interior lighting at all 17 Aspirus hospitals.
  • Installation of an 85-kilowatt photovoltaic/solar array on the roof of the Aspirus Wausau Clinic - N 3rd Street, bringing Aspirus Health to a total of 1.8 megawatts of solar electric panels across nine locations.
  • Installation of an additional 4 electric vehicle charging stations to support Aspirus Health’s EV fleet vehicles.
  • Tree Campus® Healthcare designation for Aspirus Wausau Hospital from the Arbor Day Foundation in recognition of the hospital’s commitment to planting, nurturing and celebrating trees.

Aspirus Health instituted a formal sustainability initiative in 2018 and last year joined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Care Sector Pledge, expressing the health system’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and increasing its climate resilience.