Business & Finance

Overlook Medical Center Ranked in Top 25 U.S. Hospitals for Environmental Stewardship

A healthy eating demonstration with Chef Todd.
The Overlook Green Team
Harvesting the on-campus apiaries (beehives).
Overlook's chickens.
A class visits the community garden.
The food dehydrator.

SUMMIT, NJ  - Atlantic Health System's Overlook Medical Center in Summit has received the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. The award is one of the Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The 25 hospitals presented with Practice Greenhealth's highest honors exemplify environmental excellence and are setting the highest standards for environmental practices in health care. Award winners are leading the industry with innovation in sustainability -- and have the data and documentation to prove their success.

Each year, the competition for these top spots increases as hospitals across the country continue to innovate. The Top 25 winners represent the top five to 10 percent of the best performing hospitals participating in Practice Greenhealth.

Sign Up for E-News

In addition to the Top 25 honor, Overlook also once again received the "Greening the OR Award," which recognizes the facilities demonstrating the most success in reducing the environmental impact of its surgical suites.

The Top 25 award marks a new high on a steady climb in recognition for Overlook for its achievements in sustainability in recent years. Since 2015, Overlook has been consistently recognized by Practice Greenhealth, last year receiving the prominent Greenhealth Emerald Award. The hospital had previously received the “Greenhealth Partner for Change” Award for two consecutive years, as well as the Greening the OR award. The hospital earned the Making Medicine Mercury Free award in 2015.

“Environmental sustainability works hand-in-hand with our mission to provide quality health care and build healthier communities,” said Alan Lieber, president of Overlook Medical Center. “From using healthier products in our care environments, to reducing our energy consumption, to promoting healthier eating and other activities in our communities, Overlook is making a positive impact within and far beyond the walls of our hospital.”

Initiatives that contributed to Overlook Medical Center’s dual awards included increased recycling efforts throughout 2017, as well as the installation of a fluid management system. The hospital has also been implementing H2O2 (ionized water) technology in lieu of chemicals for general purpose cleaning and increasing the purchase of environmentally-friendly green-seal chemicals.

The multidisciplinary sustainability team at Overlook, known as the “Green Team,” made several achievements in 2017, including:

  • Recycled a total of 670 tons of waste

  • Actively engaged in the Healthy Food in Healthcare organization

  • Diverted 192 tons of food waste from landfills through composting and donation

  • Twenty-one percent (21%) of food served comes from locally-sourced produce, and 18 percent of food purchases are on sustainable items

  • Decreased a total of 126 tons of waste from its surgical departments

“Through the efforts of our Green Team, Overlook has moved beyond traditional recycling efforts, and developed a culture of environmental consciousness throughout the organization,” said Michael Atanasio, manager of food & nutrition for Overlook, who oversees the hospital’s environmental efforts.

The medical center’s tri-generation power plant has had the most significant impact on reducing the facility’s carbon footprint. The power plant produces 4 Megawatts of electricity on site by harnessing the waste heat produced by the generators and substitutes steam formerly created by boilers. This tri-generation process reduces the cost of replaced energy by more than 60 percent, while also providing a redundant electrical generating capability which, in emergency situations, allows the hospital to operate independent of grid-supplied power.

Overlook is pushing for even further energy reduction, following the Energy Star guidelines to achieve a 5% energy reduction in 2018. Overlook has been recognized by The Associates of Camfil with a 5-star Energy Rating achievement in recognition of meeting all ECI (Energy Cost Index) air filtration standards for continued energy conservation.

In 2017 alone, Overlook’s efforts saved an estimated:

  • 5,752 trees

  • 22,334 gallons of oil

  • 1,120,005 kilowatt-hours (a unit of electrical energy equivalent to consumption of 1,000 watts per one hour)

  • 655,822 gallons of water

Operating rooms are large contributors to a health care facility’s environmental footprint, creating opportunity for significant cost savings and sustainability improvements. Operating room-specific initiatives included:    

  • Implementation of a recycling program in the OR

  • Installation of more energy-efficient LED lighting systems in the overhead surgical lights and the ceiling lights of most of the OR suites

  • Staff education specific to disposing of medical waste

  • Eighty-five percent (85%) reduction in the use of DEHP, a plastic material, in medical devices in the OR

In addition, Overlook’s efforts to be environmentally friendly have extended outside of the hospital, directly into the community, both right outside its doors and around the world. For example, Overlook Medical Center:

  • Established its own private beehives on-campus in 2013, and expanded the number of beehives to a total of 10 in 2016

  • Expanded its Bee Healthy program with local schools. This program educates local children about nutrition through the use of props and terms, such as “go” foods and “woe” foods. They learn about honey bee culture, get the opportunity to see the on-campus hives, and taste fresh honey off the frames. Then, they take a tour of the medical center’s kitchen and walk down to the community garden. In the spring time, the kids have an opportunity to plant vegetables and fruits. In the fall, they pick fresh produce and help prepare an entrée at the cooking station in the garden.

  • Funded the renovation of a multi-unit chicken coop and purchased 32 chickens. Farm fresh eggs are now available to staff and the community. Much of the proceeds are from the garden and the chickens are donated to families in need of food

  • Hosts a Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, in which hospital employees are able to pick up their weekly produce at work instead of driving to a farm.

  • Donates beds, linens and scrubs that are no longer in use to Focos Hospital in Ghana, Africa

Overlook also participates in initiatives hosted by organizations such as Healthier Hospitals Initiative and has been recognized as a mercury free organization.

Overlook has been recognized recently for its environmental sustainability achievements by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “60 of the Greenest Hospitals in America 2017.” In March 2018, Overlook was recognized by the Commerce and Industry Association of NJ (CIANJ) for its achievements in environmental sustainability at CIANJ’s inaugural “Companies that Care” awards ceremony. The hospital received the award in the “Protect the Environment” category.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Status Report #5

June 20, 2018

As summer fast approaches, this will be my fifth semi-annual status report on what I have been up to on Council.  In a change from the prior two years, this year I have been serving as Council president. As such, I have had greater involvement across a multitude of different issues.  However, I want to focus on three themes that have so far permeated this Council: economic growth and ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, June 24, 8:00 AM

Summit Summer Farmers Market, Summit

Summit Farmers Market

Community Calendar Food & Drink Green Health & Wellness


Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM


MakerFest 2018


Sun, June 24, 1:30 PM

Summit Greek Grill, Summit

Meet the Mayor

Community Calendar

Summit Police Blotter

June 19, 2018

5/29 - Mark L. Howard, 21, of Nutley was arrested and charged with burglary, theft by unlawful taking and credit card fraud. Mr. Howard was processed and released with a pending court date.

5/29 - At 1143 hours a report was taken for a theft of stolen license plate from a River Road business. The victim reported the last time the license plate was seen on the property was within the ...

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-19, Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Nonprofits

June 22, 2018

Susan G. Komen North Jersey Increases Program Funding by 15% for 2018-2019

and Awards 13 Grants to 11 Local Community Non-Profit Organizations

June 21, 2018  – Susan G. Komen North Jersey announced that it will award a total of 13 grants to 11 local community non-profit organizations in its nine-county service area for 2018-2019, with an increase in total program funding at 15% ...

Video: Dietze Says Despite Trade War Fears, Economy's Fundamentals Remain Strong

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live from the CNN building on the case for bullishness despite a potential trade war:

For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...


AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Video: In The Zone with Christa Anderson

A must watch for anyone considering renovations, here is a recent interview that I conducted -- on my HomeTowne TV Show called “Are You Ready for Life?” -- with Christa Anderson, City of Summit Zoning Officer, to discuss the nuances within the variance process.

I asked Christa to shed some insight into the approval process, explain why it’s necessary, and ...

Hello, Neighbors

Hi, Summit families!

My name is Betsy Stoeber and I’ve been the owner and director at the specialized learning center Brain Balance of Summit since 2011. I first encountered Brain Balance the year before we opened as a parent. My own son participated in our innovative program at the center in Norwalk, CT, to address a number of learning challenges.

Traveling there three times per week ...

My So-Called Graduation

The last of my children graduated from high school.  


My son and daughter threw their caps high into the air and cheered their liberation from one symbolic institution before contemplating their matriculation into other, much larger institutions significantly further away.  


Or at least far enough away that they won’t be needing rides home from ...