NYC Hospitals Aim to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

May 15, 2009 Updated: May 15, 2009

NEW YORK—Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs announced on Thursday that 13 hospital systems in New York City have accepted Mayor Bloomberg’s challenge to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent over the next 10 years, thereby contributing to the citywide goal of a 30 percent reduction by 2030.

The hospital systems accepting the Mayor’s challenge join 16 universities and other large institutions in committing to reduce their energy consumption faster than the rest of New York City. They represent 35 individual hospitals and include Continuum Health Partners, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), Lenox Hill Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center, Memorial Sloan – Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, North Shore – Long Island Jewish Health System, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York Hospital Queens, and Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers.

“New York City hospitals are an ideal partner for the 2030 challenge, and we are thrilled such a diverse group has already committed to this important effort,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “By working together and sharing best practices we can help meet Mayor Bloomberg’s ambitious carbon reduction targets and continue New York’s strong track record of leadership on climate change,” she further noted.

Hospitals account for approximately 2 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions from New York City buildings. By reaching the challenge goal, the 13 hospital systems would achieve a greenhouse gas reduction of 285,000 metric tons per year.

The Deputy Mayor was joined by the HHC President Alan D. Aviles, Sustainability Director Rohit T. Aggarwala, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the Greater New York Hospital Association at the Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, which is considered to be a model for green construction and design.

The hospitals are projected to save millions of dollars in operating costs by reducing their energy consumption. The Mayor’s challenge will assist participants by connecting them to resources needed to finance projects during the economic downturn.
“Accepting the Mayor’s challenge makes good economic sense for hospitals,” noted Sustainability Director Aggarwala. “Hospitals have more than double the energy intensity and carbon dioxide emissions of a commercial office building, and lower utility bills will help hospitals’ bottom line in these tough economic times,” he added.
Reducing hospital greenhouse gas emissions may also improve local air quality and lower rates of childhood asthma and respiratory disease.