Medline Launches Environmental Program to Assist Hospitals With Sustainability Efforts

Medline Industries, Inc., a privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical and surgical products, announces the launch of its new greensmart program, a unique hospital-supplier partnership designed to help health care facilities around the country reduce costs, improve patient care and build healthier communities. 

A growing company like Medline can have an enormous impact on the environment, on the health of our communities and on the pocketbooks of our customers, says Andy Mills, president of Medline.  We are committed to providing healthcare facilities with environmentally friendly products and supplies, while at the same time providing cost-effective resources in these competitive times. The greensmart program is eco-friendly and economical. 

Medlines greensmart program is a strategic four-pronged program, including helping health care facilities measure the baseline of their environmental impact; identifying opportunities for environmental cost savings; monitoring and reporting on progress; and garnering marketing assistance and education. The program is designed to help facilities quantify and report ongoing sustainability initiatives from an environmental and financial point of view. 

Through the program, customers can measure real savings by calculating:
 Pounds of waste diverted from a landfill
 Energy saved calculated in kilowatt hours or therms 
 Pounds of carbon dioxide reduced
 Gallons of water or chemicals saved
 Cost savings from reduced electricity usage, reduced trash and regulated medical waste disposal.

Medline has taken the lead on improving patient care through their strong commitment to sustainability in healthcare, says Sister Mary Ellen Leciejewski, OP, ecology program coordinator at Dignity Health in San Francisco. Through the greensmart program, Medline provides environmentally friendly products, services and consultation to help hospitals in their efforts to reduce waste and save energy. These much needed resources aim to protect and improve the environment and, ultimately, public health.

Medline began its company-wide sustainability initiative nearly a decade ago by working to conserve energy and dramatically lower greenhouse emissions within its own facilities. Since then, the company has worked to green its entire operation from sourcing, manufacturing and packaging through distribution, use and disposal. The company recently received ISO 14001 certification, a global third-party environmental standard recognizing Medline's ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmentally friendly business practices at all levels of its company. The ISO 14001 standard is designed to address the delicate balance between maintaining profitability and reducing environmental impact. Only those organizations with excellent environmental management systems qualify for this globally recognized standard.

Sustainability in healthcare is a growing trend driven by opportunities for cost savings and increased recognition of the link between environmental issues and human health, Mills adds. However, many healthcare facilities have very limited human and financial resources to accomplish their sustainability goals. Through the greensmart program, Medline can fill this void in the industry and assist customers with tools and resources required to track, monitor and report on environmental savings.    

In recent months, Medline has been presented with various awards for its commitment to environmental stewardship, including the Novation Environmental Excellence Leadership Award for providing Novations more than 65,000 members and affiliates of VHA Inc., UHC and Provista, a best-in-class environmental program, and the 2012 Practice Greenhealth Champion for Change Award for outstanding contributions to environmentally responsible health care.

Medlines greensmart program is a great tool for hospitals to get started on their sustainability journey, says Laura Wenger, RN, executive director of Practice Greenhealth.  "Medline is truly demonstrating leadership for the future of healthcare."

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