Boston Medical Center’s Path to Going Carbon Neutral

rooftop farm

Boston Medical Center is on pace to become the first hospital in New England to go carbon neutral upon completion of its building redesign in 2018.  A major contributing factor to this significant milestone is a new rooftop farm built on top of its power plant.  This 7,000 square- foot farm produced approximately 15,000 pounds of produce this growing season, most of which went directly to patients.  David Maffeo, one of the originators of this idea for the medical center and BMC’s Senior Director of Support Services stated, “This initiative supports our mission to address social determinants of health by improving access to healthy fruits and vegetables, and it is a perfect example of BMC’s dedication to sustainability and green efforts.”

With growing concerns about the climate, the healthcare industry, a significant source of greenhouse gases, has started to make changes. More and more healthcare facilities have adopted sustainability and green programs as part of a commitment to social responsibility.  So how exactly can a rooftop garden be a major part of a sustainable hospital?  Besides the obvious savings on the transportation and cost of produce, a rooftop garden acts as a solar shield, increasing the green space at the site and thereby reducing energy costs to cool the facility.  Additionally, the addition of carbon-consuming plants to the area reduces facility-wide greenhouse gas emissions.  Finally, a rooftop farm helps prevent the pollution of waterways by reducing storm water runoff.  A rooftop farm represents one way that healthcare facilities have committed to a greener earth while saving money, and the sense of community isn’t bad either.

Contact me at 215-881-9401 or daniel@eesolutions.net for further information on this program or to discuss your facility’s sustainability initiatives.

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