Advocate Aurora Health has pledged to power the system's operations entirely with renewable electricity by 2030. The health system includes 27 hospitals and more than 500 sites of outpatient care from Northeast Wisconsin to Central Illinois. "Advocate Aurora Health is the first health system in Illinois to publicly announce such a goal," the system said in a statement.
Advocate Aurora Health could cut its annual carbon dioxide emissions by 392,657 metric tons, equal to removing over 84,000 passenger cars from the road each year according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, if the system reaches its goal.
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A chronic health condition made worse by air pollution is asthma, which is prevalent in a number of communities including in the Midwest. In addition to medical treatments, the improvement of air quality is another important step in combating asthma. The system said its physicians view the renewable energy pledge as step in this direction.
For the next ten years, the system said all major construction and renovation projects will be evaluated for the addition of on-site renewables and implemented when "financially feasible" using both on and off-site purchased renewable energy. There will also be a continued focus on energy efficiency to lower facilities' overall energy demand.
Advocate Aurora Health is a member of the Health Care Climate Council and one of 180 participants to take the Health Care Climate Challenge, which pushes healthcare organizations to safeguard public health from climate change. It is the 10th largest not-for-profit, integrated health system in the United States with more than 500 sites of care and 70,000 staff serving nearly 3 million patients annually in Illinois and Wisconsin.
ON THE RECORD
"Clean power produces clean air, and clean air helps save lives," says Bill Santulli, chief operations officer of Advocate Aurora Health. "This commitment builds upon our strong track record of leadership in sustainability and environmental stewardship."
"Transitioning to clean energy reduces air pollution that is responsible for many chronic health conditions and mitigates the health impacts of climate change," says Mary Larsen, director of environmental affairs and sustainability. "Accelerating our work to make good on this pledge is just another way we will support the health and wellness of the patients and communities we are privileged to serve."
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