Federal Resources to Support Emissions Reduction and Climate Resilience for Healthcare Stakeholders

On Earth Day 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services launched its Healthcare Sector Climate Pledge initiative, creating an opportunity for healthcare stakeholders across the United States to make bold commitments to emissions reduction and resilience in response to the growing threats presented by climate change. Specifically, they pledged to:

  1. At minimum, reduce organizational emissions by 50% by 2030 (from a baseline no earlier than 2008) and achieve net-zero by 2050, publicly accounting for progress on this goal every year.
  2. Designate an executive-level lead for their work on reducing emissions by 2023 and conduct an inventory of Scope 3 (supply chain) emissions by the end of 2024.
  3. Develop and release a climate resilience plan for continuous operations by the end of 2023, anticipating the needs of groups in their community that experience disproportionate risk of climate-related harm.

In conjunction with a June 2022 event to celebrate the organizations that made these commitments, the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) launched a webinar series to support these organizations – and any others with interest – in taking the critical steps necessary to achieve these goals. It also produced this companion compendium which includes resources that may assist a healthcare stakeholder in emissions reduction and climate change adaptation.

This is not a complete list of all available resources and OCCHE encourages all stakeholders to do their own research, including investigating applicable state and city-wide programs. If you are aware of a major resource that is not included on this list, please share it with OCCHE at OCCHE@hhs.gov. We will update this periodically and also reflect learning from federal health systems (e.g., Indian Health Service, Veterans Health Administration, Military Health System) that are doing similar work on emissions reduction and resilience.

See the schedule for the Webinar Series: Accelerating Healthcare Sector Action on Climate Change and Health Equity.

Resources are organized in the following four categories:

  • General Guidance and Supports for Emissions Reduction
  • General Guidance and Supports for Resilience and Emergency Response
  • Financial Resources, Funding Opportunities, and In-Kind Supports
    • Broad Applicability
    • For Hospitals and Residential Care Facilities
    • For Federally Qualified Health Centers
    • For Rural Entities
    • Other Geography-Specific Resources
  • Non-Federal Supports

General Guidance and Supports for Emissions Reduction

Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Healthcare Facilities
Department of Energy
By presenting general project planning guidance as well as detailed descriptions and financial payback metrics for the most important and relevant energy efficiency measures (EEMs), the guides provide a practical roadmap for effectively planning and implementing performance improvements in existing buildings. Learn more at https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/57864.pdf.

Center for Corporate Climate Leadership Scope 3 Inventory Guidance
Environmental Protection Agency
Includes a description of Scope 3 emissions, Scope 3 resources, and Scope 3 emission factors. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/climateleadership/scope-3-inventory-guidance.

Combined Heat and Power for Hospitals: Superior Energy for Superior Patient Care
Environmental Protection Agency
CHP can provide a hospital’s entire energy supply year-round, even during grid outages caused by weather-related disruptions or other events. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/chp/chp-hospitals-superior-energy-superior-patient-care.

ENERGY STAR® Commercial Building Program
Environmental Protection Agency
Provides organizations the resources and tools to measure, track, and improve the energy efficiency of their commercial buildings and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their operation.  Learn more at https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/about_us/partnering/become_energy_star_partner.

ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager  
Environmental Protection Agency
An interactive resource management tool that enables you to identify underperforming buildings to target for efficiency improvements, identify best practices from efficient buildings, and set investment priorities. Learn more at https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/benchmark.

Green Power Partnership Program
Environmental Protection Agency
Provides organizations with strategies and approaches to purchasing green renewable power that meets nationally accepted standards, along with recognition and resources to help communicate the environmental benefits. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/green-power-markets.

Industrial Research and Assessment Centers
Department of Energy
Helps small and medium manufacturers save energy, improve productivity, and reduce emissions by providing no-cost technical assessments conducted by university-based teams of engineering students and faculty. Learn more at https://www.energy.gov/eere/amo/industrial-assessment-centers-iacs.

National Community Solar Partnership
Department of Energy
A coalition of community solar stakeholders working to expand access to community solar. Open to any individual or organization with an interest in supporting equitable community solar development in the U.S. Learn more at https://www.energy.gov/communitysolar/community-solar .

General Guidance and Supports for Resilience and Emergency Response

2022 ASPR TRACIE Climate Change Resilience and Healthcare System Considerations
Office of The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Provides an overview of climate trends in the U.S., outlining the impacts of climate-related illness and injury on health system operations, care delivery, and patient surge. Learn more at https://files.asprtracie.hhs.gov/documents/aspr-tracie-climate-change-resilience-and-healthcare-system-considerations-508.pdf.

Building Codes Toolkit for Building Owners and Occupants
Federal Emergency Management Agency 
Offers basic guidance and tools to help building owners and occupants learn about building codes and the process of making a building stronger against natural hazards. Learn more at https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_building-codes-toolkit_07-19-2021.pdf.

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities
Federal Emergency Management Agency 
Supports states, local communities, tribes and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards. Learn more at https://www.fema.gov/grants/mitigation/building-resilient-infrastructure-communities.

Climate Change and Social Vulnerability in The United States
Environmental Protection Agency
Contributes to a better understanding of the degree to which four socially vulnerable populations—defined based on income, educational attainment, race and ethnicity, and age—may be more exposed to the highest impacts of climate change in six categories: Air Quality and Health; Extreme Temperature and Health; Extreme Temperature and Labor; Coastal Flooding and Traffic; Coastal Flooding and Property; and Inland Flooding and Property. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2021-09/climate-vulnerability_september-2021_508.pdf.

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Report assessing how climate change impacts worker health and how to prepare for these impacts. Learn more at https://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=13562.

Disaster Available Supplies in Hospitals (DASH) Tool
Office of The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
An interactive tool that can help hospital emergency planners and supply chain staff estimate supplies that may need to be immediately available during various mass casualty incidents and infectious disease emergencies based on hospital characteristics. Learn more at https://dashtool.org/.

FEMA Resources for Climate Resilience
Federal Emergency Management Agency 
Provides an overview of who can apply, examples of programs in action, and helpful tools for learning more. Learn more here: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_resources-climate-resilience.pdf.

Fourth National Climate Assessment, Chapter 14: Human Health
U.S. Global Change Research Program
Considers the extent to which modifying current, or implementing new, health system responses could prepare for and manage climate change risks. Learn more at https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/14/.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
Federal Emergency Management Agency 
Provides funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments so they can develop hazard mitigation plans and rebuild in a way that reduces, or mitigates, future disaster losses in their communities. Learn more at https://www.fema.gov/grants/mitigation.

Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) Partnership
Office of The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
The HPH Sector Critical Infrastructure Protection Partnership is a network of public and private partners that promote situational awareness, coordination, and preparedness and response capabilities that establish a shared context and understanding of critical infrastructure risks, needs, and opportunities for innovation in healthcare and the public health system. Learn more at https://aspr.hhs.gov/AboutASPR/ProgramOffices/ICC/Pages/HPH/HPH.aspx.

Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP)
Office of The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Provides leadership and funding through cooperative agreements to states, territories, and eligible major metropolitan areas to increase the ability of HPP funding recipients to plan for and respond to large-scale emergencies and disasters. Learn more at https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/hpp/Pages/default.aspx.

Long-Term Community Resilience Exercise Resource Guide
Federal Emergency Management Agency 
A “one-stop–shop" for any jurisdiction or organization looking to conduct a climate-focused exercise. Learn more here: https://www.fema.gov/node/long-term-community-resilience-exercise-resource-guide.

National Risk Index for Natural Hazards
Federal Emergency Management Agency 
An online mapping application from FEMA that identifies communities most at risk to 18 natural hazards. Learn more at https://www.fema.gov/flood-maps/products-tools/national-risk-index

Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool
Federal Emergency Management Agency
A free GIS web map that allows federal, state, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers and other community leaders to examine the interplay of census data, infrastructure locations, and hazards, including real-time weather forecasts, historic disasters and estimated annualized frequency of hazard risk. Learn more at https://www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/practitioners/resilience-analysis-and-planning-tool .

Risk Identification and Site Criticality Toolkit
Office of The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
The RISC Toolkit provides public health and healthcare organizations with tools to identify threats and hazards; accesses vulnerabilities; and determine the criticality and consequences of these vulnerabilities. Learn more at https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/RISC-Toolkit-2.0/Pages/default.aspx.

Topic Collection: Climate Change and Healthcare System Considerations
Office of The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
The resources in this Topic Collection highlight planning considerations, educational and planning resources, and lessons learned from a variety of natural and human-caused disasters and provide guidance for healthcare practitioners who are committed to addressing climate change and the impacts on healthcare systems. Learn more at https://asprtracie.hhs.gov/technical-resources/158/climate-change-and-healthcare-system-considerations/0.

U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, Building Health Care Sector Resilience
United States Global Change Research Program
The Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Health Care Facilities Toolkit found on these pages provides an overview guide and a suite of online tools and resources highlighting emerging best practices for developing sustainable and climate-resilient health care facilities. Learn more at https://toolkit.climate.gov/topics/human-health/building-climate-resilience-health-sector.

Financial Resources, Funding Opportunities, and In-Kind Supports

Broad Applicability

Better Buildings Financing Navigator, Healthcare Energy Financing Primer
Department of Energy
An online tool that helps public and private sector organizations find financing solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Learn more at https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/financing-navigator/primer/healthcare-energy-financing-primer.

Better Climate Challenge
Department of Energy
Through the Better Climate Challenge, organizations can partner with DOE to reduce portfolio-wide GHG emissions (scope 1 & 2) by at least 50% within 10 years. Learn more at https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/climate-challenge.

Community Development Financial Institutions Program
Department of the Treasury
Actively works to increase the availability of capital and credit by investing federal resources—which are matched with private funding—in Community Development Financial Institutions working to serve low-income and underserved people and communities. Learn more at https://www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/programs/cdfi-program.

Database of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Policies and Incentives
Environmental Protection Agency
An online database that allows users to search for CHP policies and incentives by state or at the federal level. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/chp/database-chp-policies-and-incentives-dchpp.

Decarbonization Resource Hub
Department of Energy
Offers resources on prioritizing energy efficiency, setting goals and tracking, leveraging renewables, utilizing emerging technologies, engaging stakeholders, and financing.  Learn more at https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/carbon-hub.

ENERGY STAR® Financial Value Calculator
Environmental Protection Agency
The calculator helps quantify the value of improvements in energy efficiency, using the prevailing price/earnings ratio to estimate the market value of increased earnings that can result from increased energy efficiency. Learn more at https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/tools-and-resources/financial-value-calculator.

New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program)
Department of the Treasury
Aims to break the cycle of disinvestment in low-income communities by attracting the private investment necessary to reinvigorate struggling local economies. Learn more at www.cdfifund.gov/nmtc.

New Markets Tax Credit Allocatee Awards
Department of the Treasury
Organizations can search for Community Development Entities that may have available NMTC allocation authority remaining. Learn more at https://www.cdfifund.gov/awards/nmtc.

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs
Department of Energy
Grants are competitively awarded for the development and commercialization of new ideas and innovative research. Learn more at https://www.energy.gov/eere/technology-to-market/small-business-innovation-research-and-small-business-technology-transfer.

State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
Department of the Treasury
Delivers $350 billion to state, local, and Tribal governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency. Learn more at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/state-and-local-fiscal-recovery-funds.

For Hospitals and Residential Care Facilities

“Green Mortgage Insurance Premium” Reductions for Residential Care Facilities Meeting Industry-recognized Green Building Certifications  
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Policy encouraging owners to adopt higher standards for construction, rehabilitation, repairs, maintenance, and property operations that are more energy efficient and sustainable than traditional approaches to such activities. Learn more at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/05/19/2022-10539/changes-in-certain-office-of-healthcare-programs-insurance-premiums.

Hospital Generator Pre-Calculated Benefit
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Benefit-Cost Analysis is a method that determines the future risk reduction benefits of a hazard mitigation project and compares those benefits to its costs. Learn more at https://www.fema.gov/grants/guidance-tools/benefit-cost-analysis.

Office of Healthcare Programs  
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Administers Federal Housing Administration’s healthcare programs, the Section 232 Mortgage Insurance for Residential Care Facilities program and the Section 242 Mortgage Insurance for Hospitals program. Learn more at https://www.hud.gov/healthcare/.

For Federally Qualified Health Centers

Health Center Loan Guarantee Program
Health Resources & Services Administration
Supports loans to eligible Health Center Program awardees for the construction, expansion, alteration, renovation or modernization of health center medical facilities. Learn more at https://bphc.hrsa.gov/initiatives/health-center-loan-guarantee-program.

Training & TA Hub: Financing
Health Resources & Services Administration
HRSA funds a variety of grantees and providers through its Bureaus and Offices. Learn more at https://www.hrsa.gov/library/financing.

For Rural Entities

Business & Industry Loan Guarantees
Department of Agriculture
Offers loan guarantees to lenders for their loans to rural businesses. For-profit or non-profit businesses can qualify for these loans. Learn more at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-programs/business-industry-loan-guarantees.

Community Facilities Programs
Department of Agriculture
Offers direct loans, loan guarantees and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities in communities across rural America. Learn more at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities.

Rural Development Energy Programs
Department of Agriculture
Offer funding to complete energy audits, provide renewable energy development assistance, make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems. Learn more at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/energy-programs.

Rural Energy Savings Program
Department of Agriculture
Provides loans to rural utilities and other companies who provide energy efficiency loans to qualified consumers to implement durable cost-effective energy efficiency measures. Learn more at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/electric-programs/rural-energy-savings-program.

Other Geography-Specific Resources

Climate Ready Tribes
National Indian Health Board and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The National Indian Health Board aims to build the capacity of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribes to identify, assess, and take action to mitigate climate-related health threats. Climate Ready Tribes is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more at https://www.nihb.org/public_health/climate_ready_tribes.php.

Discretionary Financial Assistance to the U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States 
Department of the Interior
Funding priorities include, but are not limited to, projects that foster the development of insular area communities in disaster assistance, public safety/emergencies, and health initiatives and health IT systems. Learn more at https://www.doi.gov/oia/financial-assistance.

Energy Transitions Initiative  
Department of Energy
Advances self-reliant island and remote communities through the development of resilient energy systems. Learn more at https://www.energy.gov/eere/energy-transitions-initiative.

Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs
Department of Energy
Is authorized to fund and implement a variety of programmatic activities that assist American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages with energy development, capacity building, energy cost reduction, and electrification of Indian lands and homes. Learn more at https://www.energy.gov/indianenergy/office-indian-energy-policy-and-programs.

Non-Federal Supports

National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector
The Office of Climate Change and Health Equity co-chairs the Action Collaborative, a public-private partnership of leaders from across the health system committed to addressing the sector’s environmental impact while strengthening its sustainability and resilience. More on the collaborative is available at this link: https://nam.edu/programs/climate-change-and-human-health/action-collaborative-on-decarbonizing-the-u-s-health-sector/.

Here, too, are resources from organizations that make up the Action Collaborative’s membership:

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)
Content last reviewed