New York solar installation exemplifies Medline’s commitment to sustainability in construction, operations

New York solar installation exemplifies Medline’s commitment to sustainability in construction, operations

By Medline Newsroom Staff | November 14, 2023

Environmental, Social & Governance

New York solar installation exemplifies Medline’s commitment to sustainability in operations, construction

$34.4 M solar program part of company’s global ESG effort

There are millions of reasons to celebrate the completion of Medline’s 17,000-panel, 7.3 megawatt community solar installation atop the company’s Montgomery, New York distribution center this summer.

Most notably, the installation is expected to generate over 8.5 million kilowatt hours of clean power annually for the community power grid serving the Montgomery distribution center and neighboring Mid-Hudson communities—enough energy to power 1,600 homes while reducing carbon emissions by nearly 6,000 metric tons, the equivalent of taking more than 1,200 cars off the road, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The largest rooftop solar project in New York

“This installation is the largest rooftop solar project in New York,” said David Sandbank, NYSERDA vice president of distributed energy resources & transportation, during a recent ribbon-cutting event. The agency provided $3 million toward the $8 million project.1

“This project provides so many benefits, not only to Medline, but to the utility territory as well,” said Sandbank. “Putting solar panels on a rooftop such as Medline’s, especially of this size, is reducing the need for power in an area that really needs that reduction, especially in times where there’s a peak load demand. So kudos to Medline for doing this.”

“At the end of the day, we recognize the intersection between sustainability and health. We want to make sure that we are supporting our customers and the communities they serve by identifying and developing solutions to decarbonize our operations.”

Francesca Olivier

Francesca Olivier

Medline Vice President, ESG

The installation also expands the company’s portfolio to 60,000 solar panels atop nine locations—six in the U.S., including the company’s Northfield, Illinois headquarters, and at Medline facilities in Australia, Germany and Japan.1 The company’s $34.4 million solar investment produces an estimated 45 gigawatts in clean energy each year, exemplifying the company’s commitment to sustainability —in construction, operations and manufacturing —part of Medline’s comprehensive environmental, social and governance program.1

A broad, global commitment to sustainability

“Medline is committed to sustainability – for us, and our healthcare providers and our healthcare partners,” said Jim Burgess, Medline director of sustainability, during the celebration, which included a rooftop tour of the installation with state and local officials. “We understand that health doesn’t stop at the doors of the hospital. Providing solutions like this that help our partners meet their goals; it’s something that we love to do.”

Today, Medline’s solar panels and projects are providing an “unprecedented” clean energy contribution, said Kate Slattery, Medline’s vice president of real estate, design, construction and facilities, and helping the company meet the highest environmental standards. Ninety-eight percent of U.S. Medline-designed and constructed facilities are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified or pending certification, and 10 global sites are “ISO 14001,” a set of global environmental standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). 1

“What I’m most proud of, is that we were making good business decisions,” said Slattery. “We’re focused on doing the right things for the operation, the bottom line and the environment.”

Medline's commitment to building an environmentally sustainable business

Medline’s first solar project was completed at the company’s Rialto, California distribution center in 2016.

To date, every solar project has “worked out beautifully,” said Bob Abrams, Medline director of purchasing, who launched the solar installation program.

“We didn’t do one project that didn’t exceed expectations” in terms of anticipated energy production and cost savings, Abrams continued, adding that the company is planning three, additional solar projects including a 5.1 megawatt installation atop the company’s flagship distribution center—at 1.4 million square feet, the largest medical-grade distribution center in the U.S.—in Grayslake, Illinois. The Grayslake installation is expected to be completed in early 2025. 1

Impacting communities ‘in a positive way’

“It’s the long-term commitment of Medline, and then it’s the rigor that Medline is putting in those processes to understand where the solar and storage facilities are going to make economic sense,” said Raphael Declercq, CEO of PowerFlex, Medline’s solar project partner. “It is very closely tied to the broader goals of Medline. It’s not only the financial goals, but it’s also the corporate goals of impacting the community in a positive way.”

“This focus on renewable energy is just one part of our much broader sustainability strategy,” said Francesca Olivier, Medline vice president of ESG. “In addition to renewables, we’re also looking at how we can decarbonize as a company, and identifying ways to make our own products and packaging more sustainable.”

Celebrating the completion of the Montgomery, New York solar installation (from left to right): Raphael Declercq, CEO, PowerFlex; David Sandbank, Vice President, NYSERDA; Jim Burgess, Medline Director of Sustainability; and Thomas Fallon, Medline Director of Operations

Celebrating the completion of the Montgomery, New York solar installation (from left to right): Raphael Declercq, CEO, PowerFlex; David Sandbank, Vice President, NYSERDA; Jim Burgess, Medline Director of Sustainability; and Thomas Fallon, Medline Director of Operations

Making healthcare more sustainable for people and the planet

Medline’s sustainability program includes:

Details on how Medline is making healthcare more sustainable for people and the planet can be found in the company’s global ESG Report.

“At the end of the day, we recognize the intersection between sustainability and health,” said Olivier. “We want to make sure that we are supporting our customers and the communities they serve by identifying and developing solutions to decarbonize our operations.”

Learn more about how Medline promotes sustainable practices for a better tomorrow.

Sources:

  1. Data on file.
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Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline's newsroom staff researches and reports on the latest news and trends in healthcare.

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