Did you know that the health care sector – when hospitals and ambulatory facilities are combined – has the largest carbon footprint of any industry in the United States? We strive every day to make our patients healthy, yet we are heavily contributing to the overburden on the environment.
To help lessen our impact, Cooper University Health Care has established the Green Team, a new volunteer committee dedicated to guiding Cooper toward a more sustainable future by decreasing waste, promoting recycling, and reducing our carbon footprint.
The Green Team consists of interested staff from across the health system who meet monthly to devise and implement strategies to help Cooper become more environmentally green.
- In keeping with the spirit of giving and gratitude during the holiday season, we wanted to let you know that Cooper and Sodexo donates all unused food to My Brother’s Keeper, a residential facility in Camden for the treatment and cessation of alcohol/chemical dependence. We currently save the items and freeze them for pick up. This represents just one of the many ways we recognize our role in the community and serve as advocates for social justice
- Did you know that Cooper cafeteria sources many of its produce from local farms? Check out the complete list here!
Energy and Sustainability at Cooper
Over the past five years, Cooper has taken significant steps to reduce our carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency on our campus. Past projects include high efficiency chillers, variable-speed controllers, and HVAC controls that aid us in efficiently balancing interior and exterior temperatures.
In July 2018, construction began on a new co-generation plant. This combined heat and power (CHP) plant will allow Cooper to create our own efficient power that will carry us through emergency outages. We anticipate that the plant will come on line in May 2019 and will be fully optimized by the end of the summer.
CHP plants recover otherwise wasted thermal energy to produce electricity and steam for heating. Cooper has gone a step further, and has created a tri-generation plant, using the wasted steam to create chilled water for cooling. By producing more than half of our power demand from the CHP plant, Cooper will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 50%, and our thermal efficiency will increase from 45% to 85%.
Not only will Cooper do less damage to the environment, we will lead the way in power resiliency in southern New Jersey as the first hospital in the region with the ability to stay operational while completely cut off from the electrical grid.
Converting to a CHP plant is not only better for the environment it is also a healthy financial decision, saving Cooper approximately $2 million a year in operational costs.
To further increase efficiency, Cooper has set a goal to convert all of the indoor and outdoor lighting at our facilities to LED by 2021. LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting – 95% of the energy in LEDs is converted into light and only 5% is wasted as heat. Less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.
Look for updates in the coming months as the Green Team introduces additional strategies to help Cooper “go green.”
If you are interested in joining the team, please contact the Co-Chairs, Dr. Lisa Cerceo or John Ward.
Honoring Earth Day
In honor of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, the Green Team will host an information table outside of the Cooper Court Cafeteria from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Please visit to learn what you can do at work and at home to reduce your carbon footprint. In addition to providing recycling tips there will also be a fun educational game and a chance to win prizes.
Café Excellence Coffee Shop in Roberts Pavilion will offer a $.15 Earth Day discount to staff who bring a reusable mug for their coffee or tea. A variety of sustainably grown coffee will also be available for sampling.
For tips on how you can make a difference on Earth Day and throughout the year, click here.