Sustainability in Hospitals: A Framework for Memorial Hospital of South Bend

Adam Uppendahl

Uppendahl Hospital

This capstone project seeks to explore sustainability in hospitals, and work to improve sustainability in Memorial Hospital of South Bend. While environmental sustainability is the primary focus of this project, economic and social sustainability are also important to consider. Hospitals produce large amounts of waste and consume significant amounts of energy, on average two and a half times as much energy as the typical commercial building, and this results in hospitals significantly impacting the surrounding environment. With this substantial environmental impact, there is significant opportunity for improvement in sustainable practices in hospitals, which can result in multifaceted benefits for the surrounding area. I will thoroughly understand the current scientific literature on sustainability in hospitals, and the most effective approaches for enhancing sustainability in healthcare. In addition to this, I will perform three case studies on hospitals similar to Memorial Hospital that has effectively implemented sustainability programs. I will apply this information to improve sustainable practices in Memorial Hospital. This will be done by implementing a sustainability committee in the hospital, which will be able to effectively address a wide range of sustainability-related issues at Memorial Hospital in a holistic manner. This implementation will include the writing of a strategic plan that outlines every aspect of this committee in detail, and will provide the structure for this committee to continue to function for the years to come. To explain this committee, and its role in the hospital, I will give a presentation to hospital staff to highlight the committee’s key components.