Health Care Sector Commitments to Emissions Reduction and Resilience

The Health Care Sector Climate Pledge invites organizations to commit to lowering their greenhouse gas emissions and building more climate resilient infrastructure. HHS, in partnership with the White House, issued this call to action for health care stakeholders on Earth Day 2022 and at an event just over two months later, announced the pledges of health systems representing more than 600 hospitals, as well as a number of other actors in the industry (e.g., suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, group purchasing organizations). A full list of signers is available in this fact sheet as are a number of supports and resources, noted below, that are meant to help the sector accelerate its critical work in this area.

The White House and HHS have now re-opened the opportunity to make pledges through the fall. Organizations that sign on between July 1st and October 28th will be recognized (along with those that have signed already) in an announcement that will take place around the time of United Nations Climate Conference in November 2022. To submit a pledge, email the following pledge form: Importantly, the pledge is just a starting point in the sector’s efforts to address the harmful impacts of climate change, especially in high-risk communities across the country. The Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) is committed to working with organizations that have signed the pledge - and all other interested groups - on climate resilience and emissions reduction. HHS and its partners from other federal departments are offering a new phase of technical assistance and support intended to accelerate these efforts.

Resources of note include:

  • A webinar series on available government supports to assist healthcare stakeholders in their work on emissions reduction and resilience. Entitled “Accelerating Healthcare Sector Action on Climate Change and Health Equity,” this series will feature webinars on topics including financing resources available to support facility investments in sustainable infrastructure development and renewables and tools to support emergency preparedness and response. More information about the webinar series is available at Webinar Series: Accelerating Healthcare Sector Action on Climate Change and Health Equity. See the compendium of available resources including those resources discussed in the webinar series.
  • The Million Hearts Climate Change & Cardiovascular Disease Collaborative (CCC), a collaboration of OCCHE, the CDC National Center for Environmental Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Starting in the fall, this will be a national forum for health care organizations to learn about the cardiovascular health threats that climate change (e.g., extreme heat, extreme temperatures) and air pollution (e.g., particulate matter) present, review evidence-based interventions to address those threats (especially for high-risk populations), and access relevant solutions and tools.
  • A Federal Health Systems Learning Network made up of the Veteran’s Health Administration, Military Health System and Indian Health Service that will share its learning on emissions reduction and resilience through regular exchange sessions with private sector organizations.
  • A toolkit from the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality that will be released in September to support measurement, data collection and initial actions on decarbonization.

If you have any questions, please contact

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I still submit a pledge?

On June 30th, the White House and HHS re-opened the opportunity to make pledges through the fall. Organizations that sign on between July 1st and October 28th will be recognized (along with those that have signed already) in an announcement that will take place around the time of United Nations Climate Conference in November 2022. You can submit a pledge at

Do I need to sign the pledge to access the supports and resources noted above? 

No, anyone can access the resources listed on this page.

Why are the Biden Administration and Department of Health and Human Services pursuing this pledge?

The Biden Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services seek to highlight the leadership of health care sector stakeholders in proactively addressing their greenhouse gas emissions and becoming more resilient to the health threats associated with climate change in service of communities at disproportionate risk of climate-related harm. We are well aware of the notable goals that many of them have set and seek to galvanize others to make similar commitments.

If health sector organizations make the voluntary pledge noted here, will they be held accountable through reporting to the federal government?

The pledges made are voluntary; the organizations that sign this pledge are not obligated to report data on their progress to the federal government in association with this pledge. However, our expectation is that these organizations will proactively share their progress with the public (as noted in the pledge form), just as federal agencies and federal health care providers will do in the coming years. Notably, several health systems are already reporting data on their emissions for state and federal requirements. HHS is already exploring a number of policy levers related to reporting and collecting input on possible courses of action in this regard. Federal tools for tracking emissions, like the EPA’s EnergyStar Portfolio Manager platform, are available to help organizations assess their progress. More than 3500 hospitals, for example, use this tool already.

What is the baseline year for the first commitment (reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050)?

Federal health systems are obligated by Executive Order 14057 to use 2008 as the baseline year for their emissions reductions. We would hope that private-sector stakeholders would use the same baseline year, but if that is not possible, we would ask them to use a baseline year no earlier than 2008. They can communicate the baseline that they plan to use in the open comments section at the end of the pledge form if they choose.

How can I learn more about this initiative and what it entails?

A May 2022 webinar with additional information about the details of the pledge is available here:

I don’t think submitting a pledge is right for my organization but I still want to be involved, what can I do?

We’d love to hear from you and understand more about your concerns and any potential areas for engagement. Reach out to OCCHE at

Even if you’re not signing the pledge, the pledge resources listed above on this page will be available to you.

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)
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