Sustainability for Hospitals

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has revamped its website created to help hospital facilities meet their sustainability goals. The website, The Sustainability Roadmap, was developed along with The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE), and the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM).

According to the site, the roadmap “is designed to help health care organizations map their journey on the road to sustainability. The content ranges from general information on relevant topics to specific measures for improving your facility’s performance”.

The roadmap is arranged first by topics regarding sustainability for hospitals.  These include Building Design and Construction, Commissioning, Energy (and emissions), Water (and effluent), Waste, Supply Chain, and Chemicals.  Each topic includes information on the following:

  • Why the topic is important for health care
  • Opportunities for improving sustainability performance measures in terms of environmental impact, financial benefit, and staff, patient, and community satisfaction
  • Compliance and risk considerations
  • Overview of target setting and action planning
  • Overview of relevant resources

The next section of the roadmap includes information on the drivers behind sustainability in the healthcare field including energy costs and energy independence, financial drivers, community pressures, regulatory requirements, climate change, public relations, improved operations and social responsibility.  This section also discusses environmental regulations and how they may lead a facility to developing a sustainability program.

The roadmap then dives further into the details with a guide and a set of tools for strategic planning of a sustainability program.  These strategies are divided into different sections including Building Teams, Planning the Journey, Ways to Fund Sustainable Solutions, Target-Setting Tools, and Green Light Projects.

Finally, the roadmap discusses the implementation of a sustainability program at a healthcare facility.  This section includes how-to guides, sample contracts, case studies, LEED information and a number of other resources.

The site is a good place to start if your facility is interested in developing a sustainability program.

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