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Hartford HealthCare makes Earth-friendly pledge of carbon neutrality by 2050

Hartford HealthCare makes Earth-friendly pledge of carbon neutrality by 2050

PR Newswire

HARTFORD, Conn., April 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Caring for communities extends beyond life-changing work in operating rooms and physician offices. Hartford HealthCare leadership today highlighted its corporate responsibility to environmental, social and economic sustainability in announcing its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint 50% by 2030, and to realize carbon neutrality by 2050.

"Every day, we use our talents to care for people who rely on us. Because we are an essential part of the fabric for our state and our communities, we also invest in the wellbeing of our cities and towns. Now, just before Earth Day, Hartford HealthCare is proud to pledge its commitment to the sustainability of our larger home, the planet," says President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey A. Flaks.

This pledge solidifies work that earned the system federal recognition from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in December 2023 for "public commitments to decarbonizing its operations and improving resilience in the face of climate change." In doing so, Hartford HealthCare joins just 15% of hospitals in the country that responded to HHS's Health Sector Climate Pledge, notes Thomas Vaccarelli, Hartford HealthCare's vice president of facilities.

All of Hartford HealthCare's seven hospitals, as well its post-acute care facilities and assisted living homes, are participating in the environmental commitment.

The pledge broadly addresses reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Examples of projects Hartford HealthCare teams will tackle include:

  • Monitoring operation and maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, transitioning to clean, renewable energy when feasible.
  • Building new construction to federal LEED energy efficiency requirements, submitting for certification when feasible.
  • Exploring opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle, and adopting waste to energy strategies when feasible.
  • Evaluating rooftop space for green roofs, cool roofs and solar panels.
  • Identifying opportunities to reduce unnecessary medication waste.
  • Setting thermostats at efficient temperature settings by season.

Carbon neutrality describes the balance between the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere and the amount removed from the atmosphere. This can reduce the impact of climate change and global warming, which are caused by a build-up of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere.

"The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) applauds Hartford HealthCare for the initiative it is taking to reduce its carbon footprint 50% by 2030 and realize carbon neutrality by 2050," DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. "We all have an important role to play in fighting the climate crisis, and it is encouraging to see increasing numbers of private and public sector entities being mindful of their carbon footprint, and setting intentions to reduce their emissions. It is especially important when our healthcare sector partners do so, as today's announcement from Hartford HealthCare is an important recognition of the nexus between environmental health and public health."

The Hartford HealthCare Energy Management Program, Vaccarelli says, will establish best-in-class programs driving utilities for maximum efficiency. This will reduce operational costs, improve the environment and assure continuity of critical community public safety services.

"Being good stewards of the environment is nothing new to Hartford HealthCare," Flaks says, noting the health system has already shifted to reusable devices and linens over disposable, operates a large and productive rooftop garden, and has begun a program to track and reduce food waste, among other efforts. "The Health Sector Climate Pledge formalizes our commitment to invest in a better future for our people and our planet."

About Hartford HealthCare

With 41,000 colleagues, Hartford HealthCare's unified culture enhances access, affordability, equity and excellence. Its care-delivery system — with more than 500 locations serving 185 towns and cities — includes two tertiary-level teaching hospitals, an acute-care community teaching hospital, an acute-care hospital and trauma center, three community hospitals, a behavioral health network, a multispecialty physician group, a clinical care organization, a regional home care system, an array of senior care services, a mobile neighborhood health program and a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation network. On average, Hartford HealthCare touches more than 23,000 lives every single day. The unique, system-wide Institute Model offers a unified high standard of care in crucial specialties at hospital and ambulatory sites across Connecticut offering unparalleled expertise at the most affordable cost. The institutes include: Ayer NeuroscienceBehavioral HealthCancerDigestive HealthHeart and VascularOrthopedics and Tallwood Urology & Kidney. Visit Hartford HealthCare at and stay connected through newsletters and social media.

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SOURCE Hartford HealthCare

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