From Senior Living: The ‘Three-Bucket’ Approach to Sustainability

The healthcare industry — and I am including long-term care and senior living facilities in that definition — has been a bit slow to adopt sustainability initiatives. Its focus, of course, always is on resident and patient care, not necessarily on turning off the lights or looking for ways to limit paper use. But slowly, healthcare facilities have been coming around, and one of the main reasons for this is cost savings.

According to a 2014 report from the American Hospital Association and the Health Research and Educational Trust, “environmental sustainability is good business, as it helps lower operational costs and allows hospitals to direct more resources to patient care.”

The study authors provided the following examples to justify their conclusion:

  • Memorial Hermann Health System in southeast Texas saved $47 million through energy improvements over five years.
  • Kaiser Permanente has been able to save $4 million annually in its locations by just buying energy-efficient computers.
  • The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock has saved enough money from its sustainability initiatives that it was able to “create 60 new beds, remodel five operating suites, build out a floor of a cancer institute and buy seven acres of land.”

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