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Green Environmental Management System (GEMS)

GEMS in Phoenix The Phoenix Green Environmental Management System (GEMS), a framework to manage its environmental impacts.

text that says 2023 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards.

Environmental Excellence Award

Congratulations to the Phoenix VAHCS Green Environmental Management System (GEMS), proud recipient of the Practice Greenhealth 2023 Environmental Excellence Award for environmental efforts and achievements. Practice Greenhealth is an online platform that onboards information from hundreds of hospitals in the United States and compares environmental inroads and initiatives.

GEMS in Phoenix

The Phoenix Green Environmental Management System (GEMS), a framework to manage its environmental impacts.

A central part of the GEMS program is the GEMS Committee. Comprised of a cross-functional team from different services, the GEMS Committee meets monthly to work on environmental stewardship, regulatory compliance, and has developed policy that requires adherence to the following environmental management principles:

  • Stewardship
  • Compliance
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Environmental Planning
  • Continual Improvement

Impacts to Air, Land, Water, and Waste Production

Providing quality healthcare produces wastes and causes impacts to air, land, and water. The Phoenix VAHCS minimizes these impacts while complying with all applicable environmental laws and regulations. We do this through the work of the Phoenix GEMS Program, the GEMS Committee, employee training, policies, and internal VA environmental compliance audits. In addition, the Phoenix GEMS Program works closely with environmental regulators from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Maricopa County, and the City of Phoenix to ensure our environmental impacts are managed properly. 

Impacts to Air

  • Use of emergency generators
  • Refrigerants
  • Boilers run on natural gas to provide comfort cooling and heating

Impacts to Land

  • Use of tanks to store fuel for emergency power generation

Impacts to Waste

  • General trash
  • Used oil
  • Hazardous waste
  • Pharmaceutical waste
  • Regulated medical waste
  • Universal waste such as light bulbs and batteries

Impacts to Water

  • Construction (storm water)
  • Sanitary sewer

Environmental Stewardship

Environmental stewardship is an important component of Phoenix VAHCS GEMS program. On a quarterly basis, Phoenix VAHCS diverts a monthly average of 25 tons of waste from landfills through various recycling programs.