skip to main content
Main Site Navigation
Top of main content

Carle Health celebrates Earth Day with sustainability stewardship initiatives across the system

Carle Health celebrates Earth Day with sustainability stewardship initiatives across the system
On April 22, we celebrate Earth Day by taking actions that support the environment. Carle Health is launching several sustainability initiatives at the scale of the individual, the organization and the community informed by the direct link between environmental health and population health.

Carle Health is committed to building a legacy of sustainability and environmental stewardship for the healthcare system and the over two million community members served. As a first step in realizing this legacy, the Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship Council was created through the support of the Carle Health executive leadership team. This cross-system council is working to develop programs, policies and initiatives to advance sustainability for the benefit of team members, patients and local communities. Carle Health Center for Philanthropy invested $1 million in donations to the Greatest Needs Funds from across the system to make this important work possible.

This council and the growing network of collaborators are helping to advance sustainability efforts at Carle Health in the areas of:
  • Energy and water efficiency
  • Waste and material use reduction, reuse and recycling
  • Environmentally preferable purchasing
  • Facility design, construction, operations and maintenance
  • Community health and resilience
  • Clean energy and sustainable transportation
  • Healthy foods and local food systems
  • Safer chemicals
“How the organization operates day-to-day impacts how we steward resources throughout the system,” said Nicholas Crompton, Vice President, Construction and Facility Services. “It is our responsibility to incorporate sustainable practices into our model of care as well as in the design, construction and maintenance of our facilities.”

This month, team members are participating in the One Healthcare Ecochallenge.

“The Ecochallenge encourages healthcare workers to take small actions that can drive big impacts for the health and well-being of people and the planet,” said Anthony Corso, Sustainability and Energy Manager. Corso is also team captain for the Carle Health Ecochallenge team.

Ecochallenge participants log daily actions to build healthy and environmentally friendly habits. Healthcare organizations teams compete against each other to see how many points their team’s sustainable actions can earn during April. Each week, Carle Health highlights actions that can be done at work, at home or in your community like making donations to second-hand stores, going paperless and more.

Carle Health is promoting the expansion of clean energy in Illinois with Carle Health Methodist Hospital taking part in a community solar project. Community solar projects allow for organizations to subscribe to solar energy farms without installing on-site solar panels.

“Carle Health Methodist Hospital will act as an anchor subscriber for a community solar development focused on offering clean, renewable energy to non-profits organizations and low-income community members at significant savings over market rates,” said Corso. “This solar pilot program is just one of many renewable energy opportunities Carle Health has to support the community and the environment.”

An anchor subscriber is a larger organization that helps to demonstrate demand and allows for community solar project developers to pool the resources to build new projects that benefit the surrounding communities.

At Pekin Hospital, occupancy sensors are being installed in areas of high usage along with digital controls for some air handling equipment. These sensors allow for a reduction in energy consumption and program the equipment to operate more efficiently.

“Sustainability is important to healthcare because both are centered on the wellbeing of people," said Mark Negley, Regional Director of Facilities, Greater Peoria. "When we are good stewards of resources like natural gas and electricity, it allows us to allocate those cost savings to new service lines, medical equipment, and other projects that improve patient care and experience. Sustainability is one way the facilities department, which is often behind the scenes, can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of patients and visitors.”

Carle Foundation Hospital is launching a food waste prevention pilot project this month, partnering with Leanpath, a food waste prevention technology and solutions company. As part of this pilot, food service team members will receive training on how to use the software and equipment that are part of the innovative waste tracking and prevention program. The goal is to demonstrate reductions in food waste and operating costs that could be scaled and transferred to other locations in the system over time.

At Carle BroMenn Medical Center, a food waste composting pilot program is also launching this month to reduce the amount of food waste making its way into landfills and creating potent greenhouse gases. Cooks will have containers and compostable food waste bags at their stations to ensure food scraps are collected during food preparation.

These scraps will then be used as feed stock for an industrial-scale food waste composting operation in central Illinois, Better Earth Compost. Rather than throwing out scraps like fruit and vegetable stalks and stems, they will be recycled into compost to provide nutrients for lawns and gardens while creating a more sustainable closed loop system. “We want to move to compostable products like paper-ware, straws, knives and forks because there’s definitely a need for it,” said Michelle Martel, Manager, BroMenn Medical Center Food and Nutrition Services. “And we definitely have staff who are interested and want to contribute. This is the beginning of something that can be much bigger.”

Carle Health sustainability efforts are critical in being a trusted healthcare partner. These initiatives have a tremendous impact on an individual, community and even global scale. The work continues in April and beyond to continue to improve the Carle Health environmental impact.

For more information, visit

Categories: Culture of Quality

Tags: Day, Earth, Efforts, Energy, Environmental, Facilities, Green, Impact, Initiatives, Philanthropy, Renewable, Sustainability