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Our Commitment to the Environment
and Sustainable Practices
Environmental stewardship is one of Global Links’ guiding principles, and has been from the very beginning. A great idea was born when the organization’s co-founders made the link between the tremendous amount of still useful surplus medical materials being sent to local landfills and the dire need for these very materials in hospitals in resource-poor countries throughout the hemisphere. The resulting Global Links model of medical materials recovery and donation places equal emphasis on the two prongs of our mission: improving health in underserved populations, and promoting environmentally sound and sustainable practices in healthcare and beyond.
At Global Links, all activities and operations are shaped by our dual commitment to improving the health of individuals in the communities we serve, while acting and advocating to preserve the health of the planet we all share. We believe that both healthcare and a clean, healthy environment are basic human rights, and that both are served by reducing waste and by socially and environmentally responsible use, reuse, re-distribution or recycling of resources. We strive to foster a culture that encourages our partners and employees to consider sustainability issues in every aspect of their work and lives.
Global Links works to achieve our goals while keeping our environmental impact as low as possible.
- Each year, we divert hundreds of tons of medical surplus away from landfills, insure their good condition and utility, and deliver them to resource-poor communities.
- We work mainly with underserved countries in this hemisphere, which reduces resources used for transport.
- We are sensitive to waste-disposal issues in the countries where we work, and consult with our partners to assure that all items will be useful.
- We never send any products containing mercury, a neurotoxin and an environmental burden.
- A local transport company allows us to use available space on their trucks returning to Pittsburgh to bring us donations from hospitals out of our region – a low-cost and green shipping option.
- To collect donated materials within the Pittsburgh area, our trucks run on locally produced biofuel. This step reduced our use of diesel fuel by 49%.
Environmental Stewardship in Action
New mother and baby in Dominican Republic. Janice Levy photo.
The steady supply of prenatal and postpartum equipment and supplies from The Western Pennsylvania Hospital provide vital support for our maternal/infant care projects. Sutures and AMBUs are just two of the life-saving materials Global Links routinely receives from West Penn, and the pads and diaper cream are included in our baby bags, which hospitals use to encourage prenatal care and attended deliveries.
“We all hate waste, most nurses do,” says Lorra A. Hess, RNC-OB, Manager, Labor and Delivery, Antepartum & Mother/ Baby at West Penn. “And hospital regulations prevent us from restocking these items. It’s so gratifying to know that by donating to Global Links, we are saving the lives of new mothers in some other community.”
West Penn is one of many hospitals in Pittsburgh and beyond that work with Global Links on Environmental Sustainability in Health Care. Throughout the mid-Atlantic region and Ohio, hospitals are improving their environmental impact, lowering costs, and extending patient care to resource-poor communities by collaborating with Global Links to share surplus and save lives.
Our partners in sustainability
- Breathe Project
- Pennsylvania Resources Council
- Medical Equipment Recycling Program
- Construction Junction
- Creative Reuse
Environmental Awards and Certifications
Global Links is an approved partner of this organization, which builds and supports an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet.
For the past three years, Global Links has received the Champion for Change award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s only national membership organization for health care facilities and related businesses committed to environmentally responsible operations. The Environmental Excellence Awards recognize health care facilities and organizations that have made a commitment to health care and the environment, and are made on behalf of the entire national health care sector.
Global Links has won the GreatNonprofits Greenchoice award for 2012 as well as the past four years. GreatNonprofits is the leading organization for user reviews of nonprofit organizations.