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A Message From Our President and CEO

Healthcare organizations across the country want to become more resilient by accelerating their sustainable practices and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Many are looking for a framework to help leadership and governance set priorities, as well as to develop skills to reduce waste and their carbon footprint. To answer this call, The Joint Commission is launching the Sustainable Healthcare Certification program for U.S. hospitals and critical access hospitals.
,,In healthcare, we are united in the mission toward doing good for all people. As an unintended consequence of our work, however, we are contributing disproportionately to climate change.,,

Jonathan B. Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI - President and CEO - The Joint Commission Enterprise

Why Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare is So Important

The repercussions of extreme heat, poor water quality, flooding, wildfires, air pollution and other unexpected environmental events are making people sicker and escalating the cost of providing care. Extreme events such as these exacerbate chronic cardiac, respiratory, and other conditions, which are especially acute for those who are at a socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, or geographic disadvantage, making climate change also a health equity problem.

The increasing severity of climate-based events directly affects healthcare organizations’ operations as they react to these events and face disruptions in care and challenges in patient safety, the actual quality of care and managing unexpected costs.

,,In the past… being a public entity, we haven’t qualified for tax credits… With the IRA [Inflation Reduction Act] we’re actually able to take advantage of those at this time.,,

Miranda Jolliff - Director, Sustainability and Energy Conservation - Parkland Health

Becoming More Resilient

Many health systems are on their way to becoming more resilient to the effects of climate change to better cope with the impact of the damage that it causes and help their organization realize financial benefits of saving costs through saving energy.

Cost savings may be realized by utilizing energy-efficient technologies, implementing waste management strategies, and taking advantage of the climate provisions in recently enacted federal law which allow for new or expanded tax credits for energy-efficient facilities and incentives for equipment that can be used for renewable energy.

We’re In This Together

Listen to senior leaders from healthcare organizations explain why their organization is committed to environmental sustainability.
Don Berwick

Donald Berwick

MD, MPP, FRCP, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Dr. Frederick Cerise and Miranda Jolliff

Frederick P. Cerise

MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer, Parkland Health

Miranda Jolliff

Director, Sustainability and Energy Conservation, Parkland Health
Ali Santore

Ali Santore

MPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Social Responsibility Officer, Providence
Shelly Schlenker

Shelly Schlenker

MHA, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer, CommonSpirit Health
Michelle Hood

Michelle Hood

FACHE, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, American Hospital Association
Mike Abrams

Mike Abrams

President and Chief Executive Officer, Ohio Hospital Association
James Guliano

James Guliano

MSN, RN, NPD-BC, NEA-BC, FACHE, Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Clinical Officer, Ohio Hospital Association
Kevin Zacharyasz

Kevin Zacharyasz

MEn, Director, Energy & Sustainability Program, Ohio Hospital Association
To help healthcare organizations with sustainability, we have developed two resources specifically aimed at reducing emissions, the Sustainable Healthcare Certification Resource Center and the Sustainable Healthcare Certification program.

Resource Center

Find easy-to-use, robust, and valuable key strategies, tools, literature, videos and links to help healthcare organizations get started on sustainability, as well as innovative solutions for those that have already taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

Certification

Sustainable Healthcare Certification, launching January 1, 2024, is available to both accredited and nonaccredited U.S. hospitals and critical access hospitals. The certification provides a framework to help organizations expand or continue their decarbonization efforts to receive public recognition for their commitment and achievements in contributing to sustainability.