Gundersen Health System Honored for Work Addressing Patient and Environmental Health

By path2positive

As the climate crisis continues to worsen Global Green and Healthy Hospitals has organized a 2020 Healthcare Climate Challenge to mobilize health care around the world to protect public health from climate change. The Challenge was launched in 2015 in a rolling series of events around the world, culminating in Paris at the United Nations climate talks, where leading health systems were recognized with awards. It is based on the three pillars: mitigation, resilience and leadership.

This year, Gunderson Health System was one of the healthcare champions honored with this award. Gundersen is the first known health system to achieve energy independence, and has its own environmental program, Envision®, which serves as a model for organizations nationwide. The Envision model was created to develop or enhancing health system portfolios of sustainability projects that can help lower costs while improving the health of the communities these systems serve.

"Gundersen prioritizes green practices in our day-to-day operations as an organizational imperative," said Jeff Rich, executive director of Envision. "It's an honor to be recognized for our commitment to the health and safety of our patients, staff, environment, and the community at large."

Find out how your health care organization can participate in this challenge.

Gundersen Shows Global Impact With Environmental Honor

Gundersen Health System is among an international group of healthcare champions recognized for simultaneously taking care of patients and the environment, while reducing costs.

Global Green and Healthy Hospitals honored Gundersen for its work in energy reduction and renewable energy at the first annual Climate Champion Awards. A part of the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge, the awards were announced and presented Dec. 4 at the Conference on Climate Change and Health Care in Paris, France, held parallel to the United Nations' Conference on Climate Change (COP21). Jeff Thompson, MD, executive advisor and CEO emeritus, accepted the awards on behalf of Gundersen. 

Since launching in April 2015, the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge has grown to include over 65 participants representing more than 8,000 hospitals and health systems from 19 countries.

In November 2015, Gundersen produced more energy than it consumed from fossil fuels, the first calendar month since the system announced its first days of energy independence in October 2014. Gundersen is the first known health system to achieve energy independence. To learn more about Gundersen's sustainability programs that are attracting an international audience and our energy independence achievement, go to



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