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Sustainability Policy

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Sustainability Policy

Office Policy Document for Introducing Environmental Sustainability to Outpatient Medical Offices

Author: Todd L Sack, MD FACP, Editor, My Green Doctor

Date: November 2015

Comments: Your office or company can use this document as your policy for achieving environmental sustainability. This policy explains how your managers their responsibilities to fulfill the environmental sustainability goals of your office. If your organization consists of just one office, the policy can simplified by eliminating the role of the Environmental Sustainability Committee. This policy can be accompanied by a 10 minute PowerPoint presentation that is available at My Green Doctor. We recommend that you insert your office name where the policy says “our office” and place this document on your office stationery.

Policy:

It is the policy of our office for each office/department to have an effective office Green Team.

Procedure:

Introduction: Environmental Sustainability is a core value and goal of our office. An environmentally sustainable business is one that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (United Nations definition from the World Commission on Environment & Development, 1987).   The goals of Environmental Sustainability at our office include improving the office use of resources in order to lower operating costs, to create a healthier working environment, and to contribute positively to community environmental health.

Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC)

  • An Environmental Sustainability Committee and its Chairperson will be appointed by the Practice Administrator
  • The ESC is responsible for supervising and advising the office Green Teams
  • The ESC meets at least quarterly and reports quarterly to the Board of Directors
  • The Practice Administrator may appoint an Sustainability Officer

Responsibilities of the Manager include:

  • Register at My Green Doctor (mygreendoctor.org) and use this website as a guiding resource for the office.
  • Create an office Green Team comprised of volunteers from the office staff.
  • Ensure that the Green Team generally meets monthly, generally over lunch, to formulate and manage the Team’s Environmental Sustainability Plan.
  • Serve as the Green Team Leader or support the Leader if another member of the Team agrees to be the Leader.
  • Report quarterly to the Clinic’s Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC)
  • Ensure that the office qualifies for and maintains Green Doctor Office Certification from My Green Doctor.

Activities of the Green Team:

  • Green Teams will meet monthly at a time approved by the Manager.
  • Evaluate the office’s environmental practices, and adopt Action Steps which are the office’s Environmental Sustainability Plan.
  • Communicate the Environmental Sustainability Plan with members of the office staff.
  • Uses tools in My Green Doctor to communicate with the office staff & with patients (Education Steps).
  • Record meeting minutes using the Green Team Notes form from My Green Doctor.

Green Team Functions at Each Meeting:

  • Led by the Green Team Leader
  • Choose a member to record minutes using the Green Team Notes form
  • Minutes: Review of, corrections to & approval of the minutes of the prior meeting.
  • Old Business: Review of status each Action Step & Education Step already adopted by the Team
  • New Business: Discussion of and adoption of new Action Steps & Education Steps; choose one Team member to be the leader for each Action Step. In its first year, a Green Team will adopt 1-2 new Action Steps or Education Steps at each meeting.
  • Other Business
  • Select a date for the next meeting.

Qualifying For Green Doctor Office Certification:

  • Certification requires completion of five Green Team meetings, five Action Steps, and five Education Steps.
  • Minutes of five Green Team meetings can be emailed to My Green Doctor, together with an email providing the name and address of the office, and a list of the Steps completed. Certification is approved by a committee of physicians at the Florida Medical Association and is valid for 3 years. See mygrrendoctor.org learn whether the office qualifies for certification without a fee. For non-qualifying offices, the fee is $250 (US) every 3 years.

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