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Bon Secours earns Environmental Excellence Awards

Bon Secours is receiving recognition for its commitment to sustainability, specifically when it comes to changes in the operating room. Practice Greenhealth, a leading sustainability member organization for hospital networks, has presented both St. Francis Downtown Hospital & St. Francis Eastside Hospital with a Greenhealth Partner for Change Award.


As part of system-wide sustainability goals, Bon Secours has eliminated the use of desflurane. This commonly used anesthesia mixes into a patient’s bloodstream to work before being exhaled and carried out of the room through the ventilation system. At that point, it can have a significant impact on global warming because of its greenhouse warming potential, which is ten times higher than alternative drugs such as sevoflurane. It can also linger in the atmosphere for up to 14 years.


To lessen its environmental impact, both Bon Secours hospitals have switched to using sevoflurane, which has the same effectiveness with less warming potential and only one year of lingering effects in the atmosphere. By doing so, the health system reported the following results:

  • Bon Secours St. Francis Downtown Hospital avoided releasing 128.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere. That is the equivalent of 27.8 driven passenger vehicles going 319,107 miles, using 14,471 gallons of gasoline.

  • Bon Secours St. Francis Eastside Hospital avoided releasing 117.88 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere. That is the equivalent of 25.5 driven passenger vehicles driving 292,506 miles and using 13,264 gallons of gasoline.

As a mission-based organization, Bon Secours has a continued commitment to the health and wellbeing of the patients and communities it serves. That includes a commitment to developing a sustainable culture through environmental stewardships and working with others to protect the environment and communities’ health now and for future generations.

As a result of efforts coordinated by a collaborative council of multi-disciplinary stakeholders across our ministry, Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) won the System for Change Award, which recognizes health systems that are working cohesively to set system-wide sustainability goals, track performance data, benchmark, and support intra-organizational learning and implementation within their institutions.


“I feel very grateful that so many people across the ministry have helped to demonstrate our commitment to strengthening our connection to our mission through sustainability. Receiving such an abundance of accolades speaks volumes to the environmental stewardship within our culture. It is clear that we are a ministry that diligently cares for our common home,” said Noah Dunlap, vice president of insights and innovation, Bon Secours Mercy Health and Advantus Health Partners, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bon Secours Mercy Health.


In total, 31 BSMH hospitals received recognition for their specific green initiatives from Practice Greenhealth, including the two Bon Secours hospitals in Greenville. These achievements illustrate the commitment BSMH has to instilling a sustainable culture in every area of health care.


“In a shifting health care landscape, a focus on sustainability can help build resilience while better protecting the health of patients and the community,” said Practice Greenhouse Founder Gary Cohen. “Bon Secours Mercy Health and its hospitals demonstrate the kind of leadership, innovation, and performance that can drive the entire health sector toward more environmentally responsible practices.”

Practice Greenhealth is a nonprofit membership organization founded on the principles of positive environmental stewardship and best practices by organizations in the health care community. Practice Greenhealth provides information, tools, data, resources, and expert technical support on sustainability initiatives that help hospitals and health systems meet their health, financial, and community goals.

Bon Secours St. Francis Health System is part of Bon Secours Mercy Health, one of the 20 largest health systems in the United States and the fifth-largest Catholic health system in the country. The ministry’s quality, compassionate care is provided by more than 60,000 associates serving communities in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Virginia, as well as throughout Ireland. Bon Secours St. Francis Health System provides compassionate medical care to thousands of area residents through Bon Secours St. Francis Downtown and Bon Secours St. Francis Eastside, as well as a network of primary and specialty care practices, and ambulatory care sites across the Greenville region. Consistent with its commitment to serve each patient with dignity, Bon Secours Mercy Health.

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