The Kendeda Fund is helping in the greening of Grady Hospital

By Maria Saporta

Grady Hospital is going greener.

The Grady Health Foundation has received an $850,000 gift from the Kendeda Fund to create a Green Revolving Fund, a financing tool to invest in sustainability projects, such as energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy.

The Grady Health System will match the Kendeda grant, which will produce cost savings through investments in future sustainability projects that will benefit patient care, the Grady community and the environment.

Grady Hospital

Grady Hospital will now have a Green Revolving Fund to invest in sustainability projects (Photo: Grady Health System)

“We are grateful for the opportunity this new Green Revolving Fund will create for Grady to meet two important goals,” Renay Blumenthal, president of the Grady Health Foundation, said in a statement. “It will allow us to be better stewards of the public and private dollars that are invested into the hospital every year by reducing our operating costs, and it will also allow us to be better stewards of the environment by taking a more sustainable approach to our facilities.”

The first project to be completed as a result of this grant will be the replacement of light fixtures throughout the hospital. The fixtures were identified as a high-impact priority through an energy assessment conducted by the Southface Energy Institute in 2015 and were funded by a Grants to Green Assessment Award from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, according to a release from the Grady Health Foundation.

“The Kendeda Fund has been impressed by Grady’s progress in stabilizing its finances.  As a keystone service provider in Atlanta, their financial heath is critically important.  We’re pleased with Grady’s continued efforts to identify innovative ways to create additional savings by enhancing environmental sustainability in their operations,” said Barry Berlin, a fund advisor to the Kendeda Fund.  “The Fund is proud to make an investment in Grady’s future and we look forward to seeing the results of this grant and the revolving fund it will create.”

In addition to creating the Green Revolving Fund, Grady will be joining the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, an initiative by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, to encourage hospitals and other nonprofit organizations in the United States and Canada to invest in self-managed green revolving funds. Through The Challenge, Grady will receive support for developing and managing the fund, as well as access to the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System, a web tool to track, manage, and share efficiency data with institutions across North America.

“Grady is one of the first health systems to join our efforts to make a billion-dollar impact on energy efficiency,” said Mark Orlowski, executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute.  “We are excited to partner with them and support their work to become a leader within the health care industry and also within the Atlanta community.”

In recent years, Grady has firmly increased its focus on sustainability.  As the result of a comprehensive recycling program started in 2012, the hospital diverted over 154 tons of materials such as plastic bottles, fluorescent light bulbs and non-HIPPA white paper from landfills last year. Through a partnership with medical device provider, Stryker, Grady has realized over $368,000 in cost savings through the remanufacturing of pulse oximeter sensors.  The system is also working to improve the operating and energy efficiency of its chillers, pumps, and cooling towers in an effort to reduce energy waste and operating expenses.

“The new Green Revolving Fund created through this generous grant will allow us to maintain a steady focus on sustainability throughout our organization,” said John Haupert, President and CEO of the Grady Health System.  “Our team is committed to maximizing this opportunity and to continuing to identify changes that can be implemented both for the good of our hospital and our environment.”

The Kendeda Fund is a private grant-making foundation that invests in transformative leaders and ideas, empowering communities across the U.S. and around the globe to enhance equity, vibrancy, resourcefulness, and resilience. It has become a leader in helping nonprofits become more sustainable.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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