Five Aspirus Health hospitals earn national award for environmental sustainability

A focus on more sustainable operations supports healthier patients, employees and communities

Five Aspirus Health hospitals have earned Practice Greenhealth’s 2021 Environmental Excellence Award in recognition of their achievement and innovation in health care sustainability. Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care.

Aspirus hospitals receiving the honor are:
Aspirus Langlade Hospital (Antigo, Wis.)
Aspirus Medford Hospital
Aspirus Riverview Hospital (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.)
Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital
Aspirus Wausau Hospital

The Environmental Excellence Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon programs to eliminate mercury, reduce and recycle waste, source products sustainably and more. Winning facilities must demonstrate they are recycling at least 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are on track to eliminate mercury and have developed successful sustainability programs in many areas.

“As a leader in the communities we serve, Aspirus Health is concerned with the impact we have on the environment and how this affects the health and safety of our patients, employees, visitors and communities,” said Ali Wolf, System Director of Sustainability for Aspirus. “In 2018, we established our systemwide Aspirus Sustainability Initiative as a coordinated, strategic effort to identify and put into practice sustainability measures to improve the lives of our patients and the health of our communities. Our strategies include minimizing waste and improving recycling, addressing chemicals of concern, lowering energy use and water consumption, sourcing food and products sustainably, incorporating sustainable features into our buildings and grounds, establishing environmentally preferable purchasing criteria, shifting our fleet vehicles to a cleaner and lower carbon fleet, and more. We’re making terrific strides toward reducing our impact on the environment and we’re committed to doing even more.”

“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. “Aspirus Langlade, Medford, Riverview, Stevens Point and Wausau hospitals demonstrate the kind of leadership, innovation and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”

Three years into its program, Aspirus Health has realized energy savings of $1,068,307 and a carbon reduction of 13,209 MtCo2 (metric tons of carbon dioxide) in addition to recognition by Practice Greenhealth, RENEW Wisconsin and the City of Wausau for successes earned by program. Aspirus Health has installed 940 kilowatts of rooftop solar to support its pursuit of clean and sustainable energy to feed its business operations.