"This year's GEELA recipients are demonstrating the creativity and collaboration that make California a leader in protecting our environment," said CalEPA Secretary Matthew Rodriquez in a press release issued by CalEPA. "They stand out as examples for how sustainable practices go hand in hand with economic and organizational success."
Established in 1993, GEELA is awarded to individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions to conserving California's precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state's economy.
"At St. Joseph's we strive to be good stewards over the resources entrusted to us," said John Kendle, Senior Service Area Director of Operations. "We are thrilled to be recognized for our commitment and work, as it is a great reminder of the positive impact we are making in our community and the world - one patient at a time."
St. Joseph's ecology program was honored in the waste reduction category. The program focuses on waste reduction and includes an on-site laundry for reusable medical garments, which has diverted more than 7 million pounds of landfill waste.
The hospital also has a 33,000 square-foot garden that contributes an average of 200 pounds of produce per week that is donated to local shelters. That's the equivalent of distributing 377,000 meals per year.
In addition to being a GEELA recipient, St. Joseph's was also named a Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change, and is also the first hospital in the state to be recognized as a Certified Green Business. St. Joseph's has a long legacy of environmental stewardship. Since 2008, St. Joseph's has recycled more than 16 million pounds of waste, ranking the hospital as the second highest facility in the Dignity Health system for percentage of waste stream recycled. Additionally, St. Joseph's has a partnership with MedShare, which acts as a recycling and distribution center for surplus medical supplies and equipment.