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Hospital in White Plains Goes for Gold in Green Challenge

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A hospital in White Plains will get a checkup on the health of its environmental efforts after joining the Green Business Challenge, a voluntary program that encourages Westchester businesses to make their operations green.

The Westchester division of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in White Plains is the first hospital to sign up.

Businesses that sign up for the challenge, created by Westchester County and the Business Council of Westchester, will receive a rating of how green their operations are. Businesses are encouraged to implement as many green strategies as possible to improve their scores. Those strategies should address energy use , transportation , land use , water resources , waste, recycling and green procurement , and outreach .

"We are pleased to join the Westchester Green Business Challenge and hope to serve as a model to other hospital facilities,” said Dr. Philip J. Wilner, vice president and medical director of behavioral health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Some of New York-Presbyterian/Westchester's environmental initiatives include:

• Changing procurement policies to purchase only Energy Star-rated appliances, including computers.

• Participating in monthly “unpower hours,” when employees unplug all noncritical electrical devices.

• Replacing incandescent with compact fluorescent light bulbs.

• Installing occupancy light sensors and timers.

• Improving building maintenance, such as repairing steam leaks and installing better insulation.

• Circulating “Green Tips” to employees with ideas on how to save energy, reduce emissions and recycle.

• Incorporating energy conservation measures into refurbishment programs.

• Cleaning existing HVAC diffusers to maintain proper operations.

• Installing high-efficiency LED exit signs.

• Installing T5 lighting fixtures.

• Installing water sense-certified plumbing fixtures.

The hospital at 21 Bloomingdale Ave. is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star and Climate Leaders program as well as the Department of Energy’s EnergySmart Hospitals initiative and Energy Alliance Steering Committee.

Since 2005, the EPA has recognized New York-Presbyterian with its Energy Star Award for leadership in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.

On April 26, the hospital will celebrate Earth Day with activities and presentations to educate employees on the hospital's green initiatives.

The Green Business Challenge is modeled after the successful Chicago Green Office Challenge but designed specifically for Westchester's diverse business community.

"New York-Presbyterian Hospital's commitment to sign on to the Westchester's green business challenge is another clear indication of how important sustainability issues are to our business community," said Dr. Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester. "The health-care sector represents such an important economic force; having the hospital as a participant shows their innovation and dedication to a green Westchester."

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