At NYU Langone Health, ensuring a healthy environment is central to delivering on all three of our mission-critical areas: to serve, teach, and discover. Climate change is a global health issue, and our sustainability program was created to reduce our environmental impacts, promote health and resiliency through building design and better procurement, and advocate for climate leadership in healthcare. These four pillars are underscored by an effort to build a culture of sustainability within our organization, and to embed these priorities as a part of everyday operations and decision making.
Our program includes dozens of initiatives across the NYU Langone Health led by our Real Estate Development and Facilities department, and is part of a collaborative effort among individuals and teams who are implementing best practices and working towards greener operations across the health system. From Building and Environmental Services staff to faculty, clinicians, and students, and from hospital operations to supply chain, finance, and construction—every NYU Langone Health member has a role to play in achieving our goals.
Our Sustainability Commitments
Climate change solutions must be rooted within our businesses and the communities we serve. It is crucial for us to work alongside industry and governmental agencies to accelerate climate progress, and promote health equity.
NYU Langone is committed to becoming a carbon neutral health system by 2050, with an interim goal of 50 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030. Reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions offers benefits such as improving the quality of air in the communities we serve, increasing our resiliency, and making our buildings healthier and more comfortable for our patients and staff. This goal is part of our commitment with the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services’ Health Sector Pledge, where we’ve joined other leading health systems to strengthen national healthcare resilience to climate change.
We are also a proud and longstanding participant in the New York City Carbon Challenge. Since 2005, we have achieved a 39 percent reduction in carbon emissions for our fully owned portfolio and major sites under the New York City Carbon Challenge framework.
In 2019, we became the first and only New York City–based member of the Health Care Climate Council, a national leadership body of health systems committed to protect their patients and employees from the health impacts of climate change. This platform allows us to leverage our voice, alongside the other 21 health system participants, to drive innovative climate solutions as well as policy and market transformation. As part of the council, we also participate in the Health Care Climate Challenge.
We participate in Practice Greenhealth’s Healthier Hospitals: Safer Chemicals Challenge to reduce the use of chemicals in our furniture and cleaning product and to eliminate the use of mercury.
Sustainability Awards and Recognition
After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, NYU Langone began overhauling its infrastructure with an emphasis on resilience, energy efficiency, and green building design. Our hospital locations on the east side of Manhattan and their surrounding buildings are now the first in the world to receive the highest-level Platinum certification under both Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) under the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
In 2018, our east side Manhattan hospitals achieved PEER Platinum certification recognizing its power system efficiency and energy reliability. The following year, the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Pavilion and Science Building both earned the highest Platinum level of USGBC’s LEED certification, an internationally recognized standard for innovative sustainable building design, construction, operations, and maintenance.
We have earned more than 65 energy and environmental excellence awards for our sustainability achievements. In 2022, we received 11 environmental excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth and Healthcare without Harm, including the Top 25, Climate Resilience and Leadership, and Greening the OR Circle of Excellence awards.
Annual Environmental Sustainability Report
To help ensure transparency as we work towards these ambitious goals, we are pleased to share our annual environmental sustainability report. This report communicates more about our commitments, programs, and accomplishments to date and future plans across the four pillars of our sustainability program: reducing our impact, increasing resiliency; promoting health, and advocating.
The 2023 Caring for the Environment report also showcases how our climate and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals have evolved to support New York City, New York State, and national climate targets, all in service of the U.S. commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Sustainability and Healthcare Database
Health and environmental sustainability are fundamentally connected and are essential for the livelihood of our communities. NYU Langone and NYU researchers have recognized this connection and have led by example through academic studies on this topic. Our publicly available Sustainability and Healthcare Database compiles publications on the intersection of public health, sustainability, pollution, and climate change.
If you have questions or want to learn more about NYU Langone’s commitment to sustainability, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.