15:24 PM

A Growing Conversation on Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare

2020 Paper in Resources, Conservation & Recycling, co-authored by Melissa Bilec, Receives Most Downloaded Paper Award

Melissa Bilec, co-director of Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and William Kepler Whiteford professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, is among a team of researchers awarded the 2022 Most Downloaded Paper Award by Resources, Conservation & Recycling for their paper, "The Green Print: Advancement of Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare" (DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.104882). 

The paper, which was published in 2020, was recognized for receiving the highest number of downloads or full article views through ScienceDirect from 2020 to 2022. 

The paper highlights the importance of environmental sustainability in healthcare, particularly in light of the increased waste and energy use associated with modern healthcare systems. Led by Jodi Sherman, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology at Yale School of Medicine, the multidisciplinary project proposed a framework for implementing sustainable practices in healthcare settings, emphasizing the importance of reducing waste, conserving energy, and promoting the use of environmentally friendly products.

Melissa Bilec

"This award means a lot to me," said Bilec, who is also special assistant to the provost for sustainability. "When we started this work, no one was talking about sustainability in healthcare. Now, it’s the most downloaded paper in the journal, with thousands of citations. It is a testament to the importance of environmental sustainability in healthcare and the need for more research in this area.” 

The Most Downloaded Paper Award is an annual award to recognize the most downloaded papers published in a given year. The award highlights the impact of a paper on the scientific community and its potential to shape the direction of future research. 

This paper has already had a significant impact on the field, with many healthcare organizations adopting her framework to reduce their environmental footprint. 

“I hope that this recognition will encourage others to take action to promote sustainability in their own work,” Bilec said.