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William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

 

Green Environmental Management System (GEMS)

Photo of Madison VA Medical Center

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to delivering quality health care to our nation’s Veterans. Recognizing that accomplishing this mission includes a great deal of fiscal accountability, the VA is committed to reducing environmental risk factors and associated expenses by focusing on new ways to prevent pollution, reducing waste, and conserving natural and cultural resources. Following the VA’s lead, the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin is employing processes to affirm that environmental accountability is integrated into day-to-day decision-making and long-term planning goals.

The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital established Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) in June of 2005 as the facility’s governing environmental policy. This policy guides and encourages employees, at all levels of the organization, to be good stewards of the environment by complying with all applicable environmental requirements; preventing pollution; reducing waste; conserving energy, water, and other natural and cultural resources.

The process has led the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital to establish numerous recycling processes for materials that were historically considered hazardous waste or general waste. In addition to the typical recycling streams for office paper and aluminum cans, the facility has also found ways to recycle numerous new materials including fluorescent light bulbs, used oil, batteries, cardboard, wood and organic materials. Future GEMS changes will include additional resource conservation and affirmative procurement/green purchasing (requiring purchase of material with recycled material content). The GEMS process is seen as a major step in continuing the VA tradition of ensuring environmental compliance is an important component in long range planning, purchasing, and operating decisions, wherever practicable. For additional Information concerning the GEMS program please contact Roxanne Wienkes, GEMS Program Manager at 608-256-1901 X17427 or via email at Roxanne.Wienkes@va.gov