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  • Writer's pictureTom Petersen

How Hospital Leaders Should Prepare for EHS-Related Regulations

Johns Hopkins Environment Hospital Campus

The changing climate is presenting issues that hospital leaders will need to tackle — today and in coming years.

Community education around health issues emerging from climate change will be important to consider, and resilience measures to ensure facilities can withstand extreme weather events will become necessary. Detailed risk assessments and action plans will need to be implemented, to wrap all considerations together into actionable frameworks.

Beyond this, however, will be the need to comply with forthcoming regulations — which are predicted to increase in the next handful of years, towards the Biden administration’s goal of halving carbon emissions by 2030.

What does this mean for hospital leaders now?

What can be done to get ahead of the curve?

The first thing we recommend is to stay tapped into the latest regulatory information. Regularly checking resources such as the HHS Climate Change and Health Equity website and the Industry News section of the HERC website, and sign up for pertinent newsletters such as HCPro. While much of this information is about current issues in the field, they may also provide insights for what’s coming around the bend.

Now is also the time to ensure your sustainability and emissions reporting practices are precise, as anticipated forthcoming regulations will require you to do so. Practice Greenhealth’s Climate Impact Checkup is a notable tool for helping with this — not only will it help calculate your facility’s footprint, it allows you to benchmark those emissions against similar facilities in your region, country, and globally. Practice Greenhealth also has a Scope 3 GHG Emissions Accounting Tool to aid in the often-tricky process of measuring your organization’s indirect emissions.

Lastly, it may behoove healthcare leaders to become familiar with methods used by hospitals with award-winning achievements — what’s exceptional now may well become regulatory standards down the road. Practice Greenhealth’s Environmental Excellence Awards are the nation’s premier recognition program for environmental performance in the health care sector, and are a good place to gain familiarity with high-ranking institutions. Following these leaders on platforms like LinkedIn can give further insight into how to stay a step ahead of the crowd.

While the future is inherently unknown, taking these three initial steps can bring you and your organization to be better prepared as governmental bodies respond to the needs of our changing climate. If you’re interested in building on these initial steps, EES is here to help. You can contact EES President Tom Petersen at to get the process started.


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