Johns Hopkins Green Team

Johns Hopkins University

Saving patients and saving the world, one piece of paper at a time. Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital have combined their efforts to maintain a green campus and green hospital.


The Green Team was founded in 2007 by JHU President, William R. Brody. His goal was to find a committee to improve the college and hospital’s environmental profile. Within his 16-member committee, Davis Bookhart, the Manager of Energy and Sustainability and Larry Kilduff, the Executive Director were Brody’s assistants in creating the goals of the Green Team.

“We want to prove our environmental profile throughout the college and throughout all practices at Johns Hopkins. We wanted to have a list of goals to achieve, we wanted to make sure we were doing our part to help better the environment,” Kilduff said.

Their 2009 objectives were to demonstrate their Green Commitment. Overall, the members wanted the campus and hospital to recycle paper, glasses, medical equipment, toner cartridges and cell phones. They wanted to establish a recycling program from paper, plastic, glass and aluminum. They wanted to reduce environmental waste, purchase and use green products. Since the hospital uses up a lot of energy and water, they wanted to lessen the use as much as possible. Most important, the Green Team wanted to educated the community at large about their environment goals and the importance of sustainability.

“We want to create a healthy and safe community. We want everyone to be conscious of what they are wasting on a daily basis. We want to create a social responsibility within our employees, our students and the community as a whole. We want to become as eco-friendly as possible,” Bookhart said.

In 2008, the Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Health, Safety and Environment collected 175,935 pounds of hazardous material. The major improvement within the waste was that 67% of the hazardous waste was recycled or repurposed.

Pie Chart

Pie chart that breaks down what the 67% of waste was used for.

The red represents 34,505 lbs of materials that were nuetralized on-site, the blue represents 81,650 lbs of materials that were reutilized as fuel off-site, the green represents 57,935 lbs of materials sent off-site for destruction and the yellow represents 1,842 lbs of materials for fluorescent lamp recycling.

Another big issue that Johns Hopkins wanted make importance of was alkaline battery recycling. The program to recycle alkaline batteries started in February of 2009. The Green Team enforced recycling of the canisters in order to reuse them. The believe that 100% of recycling the alkaline batteries can potentially reduce 10 tons of waste annually.

Specifically within the hospital community, the Green Team wants to create a Center for Green Healthcare. Their mission is to promote sustainability and environmental solutions for healthcare institutions and providers. They want to transform healthcare to promote eco-friendly practices. John’s Hopkins wants to extend their research for greener practices within the medical aspect of their community. They’ve created a website explaining their goals and purposes for the year 2009.

Colleen Cusick, a resident nurse at Johns Hopkins and a member of the Green Team explained that their main purpose is to educate as many people as possible about how to maintain a greener perspective in their community.

“It’s important within our hospital and campus community to make sure we are making all efforts of using less energy and reusing as much as possible. John’s Hopkins is a huge community and we have wasted a lot but we keep educating each other and I think that is helping us improve tremendously,” Cusick said.

Johns Hopkin’s goals for the community are to try to reduce paper by decreasing the printing out excessively and by using both sides of the paper. Recycle as much as possible whether they are toner cartridges or a bottle of Coke. Instead of re-purchasing plastic bottles of water, buy one water bottle and reuse it. Reduce the waste of energy by turning off lights, turning off electronics when you don’t need to use them. Carpool as much as possible.

“Stop being excessive. Be useful and be careful. That’s the best advice I can possibly give,” Cusick said.

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