N.J. Hospitals First to Achieve Joint Commission Sustainability Certification

March 6, 2024
Four Hackensack Meridian hospitals create baselines to measure sources of greenhouse gas emissions and are developing action plans to reduce them

Four hospitals within Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest health network, are the first in the nation to achieve The Joint Commission’s Sustainable Healthcare Certification (SCH).  

The Joint Commission’s SHC was created to provide a framework to help healthcare organizations begin, continue, or expand their decarbonization efforts.

The Joint Commission said these hospitals have met rigorous standards and elements of performance to establish structure, rigor, and accountability to accelerate healthcare’s growing sustainability efforts. 

Since the healthcare industry accounts for nearly 9 percent of the nation’s carbon emissions, commitment to keeping people healthy includes recognizing and reducing healthcare’s outsized share of carbon emissions, according to The Joint Commission. 

The four Hackensack Meridian Health hospitals include Hackensack Meridian University Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center,  and Hackensack Meridian Ocean University Medical Center.

To achieve SHC, all four hospitals set priorities and governance for sustainability initiatives, including creating baselines to measure three sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and developing an action plan to reduce them. The four hospitals also underwent a virtual certification review to assess their compliance with the SHC program’s requirements. 

"We are incredibly proud to be the first hospital network in the nation to receive The Joint Commission's Sustainable Healthcare Certification," said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, in a statement. "This prestigious recognition is a testament to our unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, we recognize the importance of operating in a responsible and sustainable manner. This certification demonstrates our leadership in this critical area and our dedication to protecting the health of our patients, communities, and planet for generations to come." 

Among recent Hackensack Meridian Health network sustainability achievements include work on implementation of 30-MW on-site solar and battery storage and investment of more than $116 million in energy-efficient infrastructure upgrades.


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