Minneapolis VA Health Care System
Green Environmental Management System (GEMS)
The Minneapolis VA Healthcare System’s mission is to honor American Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being. As a responsible member of the communities in which we serve Veterans, we understand our facilities must operate in a sustainable fashion that protects the environment and the health and safety of our patients, employees, visitors and communities.
The Minneapolis VA Healthcare System is committed to reducing environment risk factors and associated expenses at all its facilities by focusing on pollution prevention, resource reduction strategies, environmental compliance, waste reduction and continuous improvement of its environmental program.
What is GEMS?
In 2005, the national VA Healthcare System started the Green Environmental Management System (GEMS) program based on Presidential Executive Order 13148 requirements and guidance provided by the Veterans Health Administration. Subsequent related Executive Orders have been issued, generally building on the concepts of the original EO by further defining goals to make VA more environmentally friendly. The Minneapolis VA Healthcare System has a GEMS manager and a GEMS committee that meet regularly to discuss program goals and assess environmental impacts throughout the health care system.
Minneapolis VA Commitment to Environmental Management
The Minneapolis VA Healthcare System is committed to the following actions:
- Be a good steward of the environment, complying with federal, state and local environmental laws , conserving energy and water, and by minimizing waste of natural resources in all programs.
- Utilize sustainable practices to eliminate, minimize or mitigate adverse environmental impacts.
- Integrate pollution prevention, waste minimization, resource conservation into operations, whenever practical.
- Use natural resources efficiently and maintain a policy of protecting plant and wildlife habitats.
- Consider the unique conditions of the environment during development and construction of the Minneapolis VA Healthcare System’s facilities.
- Train our staff, as needed, to carry out the environmental responsibilities of their positions.
- Solicit input, as appropriate, from stakeholders, including staff, patients, visitors and local communities regarding environmental matters affecting our facilities’ operations.
Minneapolis VA GEMS Awards
Minnesota Federal Agencies Win EPA Green Challenge Award (October 19, 2016)
Minneapolis VA Health Care System Wins EPA Federal Green Challenge Award (August 20, 2015)
For additional information about the Minneapolis VA Healthcare System’s GEMS program:
George E. Johnson,
GEMS Program Manager