Staff report

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital is the first hospital in the nation to earn a Gold Level Environmental Sustainability Certificate from the Association for the Healthcare Environment of the American Hospital Association.

Earning a Gold level sustainability certificate requires the hospital to use environmentally friendly operations. As part of the certification process, the hospital was required to submit more than 200 pages of documentation.

“We are very honored to receive the nation’s first gold level certification,” said Herb Geary, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Cottage Health. “We recognize our Nutrition and Environmental Services departments at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for leading the efforts in our sustainability practices. They are truly passionate about protecting the environment and the health of our community.”

The hospital diverts 42 percent of its waste from landfills by recycling and composting. The hospital’s Reusable Sharps program allows SBCH to divert 42,000 pounds of plastic and 3,400 pounds of cardboard each year, as well 25,000 pounds of CO2.

More than 3,000 meals are served every day at the hospital, using compostable serving ware. Fifty percent of all produce used is purchased from local farms and growers.