PITTSBURGH - UPMC intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% within the next eight years across its footprint – one component of the recently signed Health Care Sector Climate Pledge, an initiative led by the White House and the United States Department of Health & Human Services. The pledge demonstrates UPMC’s continued commitment to lowering emissions and building more climate resilient infrastructure. Also, by committing to the White House initiative, it is UPMC’s goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Meeting these environmental milestones will be met under the guidance of John Krolicki, vice president, Facilities and Support Services, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside and UPMC Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Michael Boninger, president, UPMC Innovative Homecare Solutions. Krolicki and Boninger have assumed the roles of co-chief sustainability officers and will lead a team to create a comprehensive strategy to achieve UPMC’s environmental goals.
“UPMC will lead by example to develop approaches to health care that rapidly reduce our contributions to greenhouse gas emissions,” said Boninger. “We are making these pledges on behalf of the health and well-being of people today and for future generations.”
The creation of these new roles is the latest step UPMC has taken to directly address climate change and its threats to human health. In 2014, UPMC joined the Green Building Alliance 2030 challenge and has reduced its carbon footprint by over 10% in the Pittsburgh area, despite significant growth.
In addition, all UPMC campuses have eliminated plastic foam packaging from cafeterias, and more than 40 tons of appliances and equipment have been recycled over the last five years. UPMC campuses have been honored by the Arbor Day Foundation for tree planting and education, and efforts are underway in areas like utilizing geothermal technology and constructing green buildings.
“As we work to continue to reduce our environmental impact, UPMC looks forward to implementing additional cutting-edge solutions that will secure our place as a health care leader in sustainability,” Krolicki said. “We are eager to join the cause in the communities we serve to make a difference for our environment for the long term, which in the end helps the patients we serve.”