Healthy Interiors

In 2013, we worked with our suppliers to track purchases of freestanding furniture and medical furnishings with the intention of avoiding the use of halogenated flame retardants, formaldehyde, perfluorinated compounds and PVC (vinyl). Avoiding these chemicals helps us to improve our indoor air quality and support the use of alternatives that are safer for people and the environment in their production, use and eventual disposal.

We required suppliers of exam tables, patient recliners, mattresses, foams, panel fabrics, cubicle curtains, window coverings, fabric upholstery and built-in modular casework to complete templates allowing us to create internal reports highlighting the products’ compound content. In our 2013 facility reports to the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, we were able to share information from 88 percent of qualifying suppliers. Throughout 2014, we will continue to refine these reports, which we now require quarterly, while striving to gather data from 100 percent of vendors supplying the system with products meeting this outcome area’s requirements. This goal is prioritized in our newly adopted Sustainable Design, Construction and Renovation Policy.

Proportion of Furnishing Dollars Spent on Products Free of Chemicals of Concern

15 Environmental Excellence awards

UH received 15 Environmental Excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth, including the prestigious System for Change award, for our systemwide achievements in sustainability in 2013.