As we celebrate Earth Day, Providence Swedish reaffirms our commitment to environmentally conscious healthcare

“We are committed to creating a lasting healthy and healing environment for our patients while reducing our impact on the environment.”

In the face of a daunting climate crisis, our commitment to doing our part with environmental stewardship is something we proudly work toward every day, all year-round. But on Earth Day, which we celebrate every April 22, we would like to reflect on some of the accomplishments around our Providence Swedish campuses. We are especially proud of our Swedish Issaquah campus, one of the country’s greenest hospital campuses, and the way it’s shaping the future of environmentally conscious healthcare facilities.

“At Providence Swedish, we are intensely focused on our environmental stewardship programs to creating a healthy environment for our patients, staff and community. We invest in our buildings and operational infrastructure to ensure healthy facilities that will produce lower carbon emissions for future generations,” says Andrew Davis, chief real estate officer of Providence Swedish’s North Division. “We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and have been making vast improvements in our carbon reductions month-over-month. Thank you to all our caregivers and community members for embracing our environmental stewardship work in our daily operations.”

Providence Swedish's Issaquah Campus, which is among the nation's most energy efficient hospitals. Leaders and caregivers have been recognized for their forward-thinking sustainability efforts. 

Swedish Issaquah was the first of our campuses to become carbon neutral in 2021, as we work toward making our hospitals carbon negative by 2030. Built in 2011 with an energy usage (EUI) of 150, we have taken steps to continuously reduce our usage levels. This work has been so successful that Issaquah met an all-time low of 97.7 EUI at the end of 2023, 40% lower than the median usage of U.S. hospitals. Energy Star has also named Swedish Issaquah in the top 1% of hospitals for its energy score.  

Other recent efforts towards environmental sustainability include:

  • Swedish Issaquah and our other Providence Swedish campuses took home 16 environmental sustainability awards from Practice Greenhealth, including the Emerald Award for robust environmental excellence. These awards were a testament to the great strides we’ve made to reducing our environmental impact. Read more here.
  • We proudly joined the Coolfood Pledge, committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our food services by 25% by 2030. Different strategies that our nutrition services teams are actively implementing include offering more plant-forward meals and measuring food waste. Learn more here.
  • Swedish Issaquah continued to increase our greenspaces with caregiver-led efforts, including the Issaquah Giving Garden, a project that donated high-quality, fresh vegetables and fruits to local food banks. Social Worker Danielle McLaughlin teamed up with Café 1910 Chef Anton undertook the project of taking a few empty planters in a staff break area and expanding it into a garden space for healthy greens. Read the story.
  • The greatest strides we have made in environmental sustainability are thanks to our teams who implement sustainable procedures in their everyday routines. Our caregivers— from environmental services, food services and facilities, to nurses, labor and delivery, and surgical teams— dedicated tireless hours to helping achieve sustainable procedures and further make the Swedish Issaquah campus sustainable. In 2023, our facilities team was featured in a Puget Sound Energy case study for how their work has greatly reduced our EUI.

Says Frank Papp, Sr., sustainability program manager, Providence Swedish Puget Sound, “We are committed to creating a lasting healthy and healing environment for our patients while reducing our impact on the environment.”

Read more about what Providence Swedish is doing to support a sustainable, healing environment for all. 

About Providence Swedish

Providence Swedish has served the Puget Sound region since the first Providence hospital opened in Seattle in 1877 and the first Swedish hospital opened in 1910. The two organizations affiliated in 2012 and today comprise the largest health care delivery system in Western Washington, with 22,000 caregivers, eight hospitals and 244 clinics. A not-for-profit family of organizations, Providence Swedish provides more than $406 million in community benefit in the Puget Sound Region each year. The health system offers a comprehensive range of services and specialty and subspecialty care in a number of clinical areas, including cancer, cardiovascular health, neurosciences, orthopedics, digestive health and women’s and children’s care. 

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