How We Tackle Environmental Waste

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What does Re stand for?

Re is the prefix used in the English language with the meaning "again" to indicate repetition or restoration. Re is the creative identity for Affinity's environmental management system. It helps us eliminate environmental waste and move beyond compliance in our journey of continuous improvement. 

The environmental management system enables us to Reduce andRethink the way we impact our planet through a systematic process. From setting objectives and policies to reviewing controls, records and providing necessary training, going beyond compliance and noting practices is our key to performance.

This program for environmental performance is a constant reminder of our STEWARDSHIP value - We believe the wise use of our resources today ensures our ability to continue our mission tomorrow.

Environmental Policy


Affinity Health System's missionvalues and promise ofpersonalized care are rooted in environmental stewardship. We recognize and accept our role in creating a healthy future by lessening our ecological footprint and striving for a state of sustainable development as evidenced by:

Ensuring healthy, safe sustainable operations through voluntary initiatives and regulatory compliance

Advancing LEAN process improvement to prevent pollution and promote health living

Reducing waste in all its forms

Trending health, safety and environmental performance

Helping our team members, partners, contractors and suppliers maximize sustainable practices.

Environmental Objectives

Take a look at some of the environmental objectives we work towards on a daily basis at Affinity Health System: 

Green Guide for Healthcare - Operations Pilot
- A checklist from Practice Greenhealth that keeps us looking at our people, planet and prosperity.

Deconstruction and Debris Recycling 
- Did you know that construction waste such as metals, wood, concrete, asphalt, cardboard, paper, plastics, cieling tiles, rubble, commingles, glass, tires, and carpet tiles are recycled during renovation and expansion? In fact, during June - December 2010, 503.5 tons were diverted from the landfill at St. Elizabeth Hospital. 

Energy Star Performance
- Energy Star labels received for St. Elizabeth Hospital and Mercy Medical Center. Energy Star rating is based on being 75% more efficient than all other buildings in that class. St. Elizabeth Hospital performs more efficiently than 83% of hospitals in the nation while Mercy Medical Center performs at 76%. Less energy means less CO2 output.

Continue the Development of Sustainable Building Projects
- Affinity Health System has 7 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings and projects that have less of an impact on the earth while helping us deliver personalized care. Currently, Affinity Health System has the most LEED buildings/projects in healthcare. 

Reduction of Pharmaceutical & Hazardous Waste
- We are diving deep in understanding the processes around pharmaceutical and hazardous waste so we can reduce it.

Environmental Performance

Once we identify a process, activity or product that doesn't meet standards or contributes to environmental waste, LEAN tools such as value stream mapping, A3 problem solving and 5S are utilized by team members to achieve environmental performance. Here are some of our stories:

St. Elizabeth Hospital - Appleton, WI

Environmental Event: Defeating the Energizer Bunny
While verifying the cradle to grave process of batteries, team members discovered an interesting fact that 72% of alkaline batteries going through the hospital held a reusabe charge. A process was put in place to route these batteries into non-clinical applications. Savings over $2,000 are now recovered for this event and the team was pleased to learn that batteries leaving the hospital did indeed avoid the landfill.

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Environmental Event: Lights, Camera, Action
Handling light bulbs is a matter of safety, especially when discarding them since certain lamps contain mercury. Realizing our methods for storing and disposing lamps could be improved, we worked with our vendor to improve this process. After the storage area was 5S'd (sort, straighten, sweep, standardize, and sustain), the team was able to reduce the square footage from 1080 to 100! Due to new standards, the number of accidental broken lamps reduced, and loading time from the vendor went from ninety minutes to thirty minutes. We also learned that virtually everything from the lamps were recycled from the metal end caps, to recapturing the mercury, and crushing the glass for secondary use. And that was all after compliance needs were met.

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1506 S. Oneida St
Appleton, WI 54915
(920) 738-2000

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