Returning value through sustainability seems to be more important than ever.  Health care systems understand that sustainability efforts provide multiple benefits, but the challenge in an uncertain economy and regulatory climate is finding the resources and time to invest in such projects.

“Hospitals are increasingly moving toward sustainability, which provides real improvements for the environment and furthers the health care industry’s goal of creating healthier communities.  But unless sustainability efforts also can reduce operational costs, they may be short-lived. To ensure that sustainability initiatives are sustainable, they need to deliver value back to their organizations on multiple fronts.”

Whether a health care facility is struggling with inefficiency or has a top energy rating, the key is to keep moving forward on the path toward sustainability.

Although more and more health care facilities understand the benefits of sustainability projects, finding solutions that work in the real world sometimes can be a challenge.  Laura Brannen, senior sustainability consultant at the engineering firm Mazzetti, San Francisco, says she no longer has to convince health care leaders that sustainability projects provide tangible benefits. “Now the discussion centers on how to get the work done,” she says.

“Investing in performance improvement will pay off,” Brannen says. “Sustainability is a solution that provides value.”

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