Supporting Your ASHE Sustainability Journey

Health care facilities are dedicated to working together to become more sustainable by adopting environmental, social, and fiduciary practices that support healthy, equitable, and resilient environments and communities. In support of its mission of advancing the health of individuals and communities, ASHE provides strategic thought leadership, resources, and programs to support health care organizations pursuing sustainability.

What is sustainability in health care?

  • In health care, sustainability refers to the integration of environmental stewardship, social equity and fiduciary responsibility to support healthy, equitable and resilient environments and communities over time.
  • Sustainability in health care is based on a simple principle: Everything that humans need for their survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on the natural environment.
  • To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony

Why and how does environmental sustainability affect health care?

Problem: The environment contributes to people's wellbeing, contributing to chronic diseases, such as asthma and cancer, or to acute illnesses like heat exhaustion.

Solution: Everyone, including hospitals, needs to be a part of the solution and make changes that will help improve the environment.

Premise: Hospitals can reduce carbon emissions significantly with simple changes, such as reducing surgical waste, reducing toxic chemicals and installing life-saving renewable energy sources.

Reason: Hospital and health systems engaged in sustainable practices are doing so largely because it aligns with their humanitarian and stewardship mission and vision. Becoming a positive force for environmental health leads to human health and wellbeing.

Getting Started

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The Basics

“Where do we start?” is a common question when embarking on a sustainability journey. Complicating the question further, the word “sustainability” is often used interchangeably with other related concepts. Standardize your team’s communication to make your journey more cohesive and efficient with the Sustainability Glossary.

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Sustainability Guide

The ASHE Sustainability Guide was developed to provide step-by-step directions for developing and executing a sustainability program for your health care facility.

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Success Stories and Sustainability Tips

Read success stories about the health care facilities that have improved sustainability and embarked on decarbonization. Gather real world examples and sustainability tips from health care industry professions to help readers like you thrive in sustainable practices.

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Discover Emissions Sources

State and Local jurisdictions across the US are setting environmental sustainability and decarbonization goals and targets for commercial buildings. Learn more about hospital specific emissions and how they relate to different departments.

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Taking Action

Learn to take action to decarbonize health care facilities and become more sustainable. These opportunities provide foundational knowledge of sustainability and empowers learners to work with their organizations to become more sustainable. Start your journey today!


Browse through exisiting publications that relate to sustainabile practices in health care facilities.

More Sustainability Resources
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Energy To Care

Energy to Care is ASHE’s award-winning sustainability program for health care facility professionals who want to add value to their organizations via an environmental sustainability focus.

Thank You to Our Sustainability Volunteers

These groups are made up of ASHE Professional Active Members and Associate Members with a strong interest in health care sustainability and decarbonization. ASHE staff members Kara Brooks, Chad Beebe and Austin Wallace have played a central role in coordinating and collaborating with these volunteers.

If you'd like to volunteer, or connect with ASHE staff to learn more how you can contribute your skills, email or visit myASHE to connect.

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Sustainability and Decarbonization Committee

The committee guides the development of content, tools, and resources to help ASHE members advance their work in sustainability.

The foundations task force discussing sustainability and decarbonization efforts

Sustainability and Decarbonization Foundations Task Force

The task force works to create and maintain key communication content on sustainability and decarbonization so ASHE members are more informed. They help maintain ASHE's role as a thought leader in the health care sustainability space.

Sustainability and Decarbonization Leadership Task Force

This task force works to create information and resources for ASHE members to enhance the education of current leaders and influence leadership to invest in sustainability initiatives. They also work to develop future leaders in the field of health care sustainability.

Health Care Decarbonization Task Force

Health Care Decarbonization Task Force

The task force will create information and resources for ASHE members to help reduce carbon emissions in their facilities.


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