Health Care Sector Commitments to Emissions Reduction and Resilience

Thank you for your interest in advancing climate change and health equity. We hope you and your organization will take this voluntary pledge to lower your greenhouse gas emissions, and build a more climate resilient infrastructure.

We are deeply encouraged by the commitments many health care sector stakeholders have already made to climate resilience and emissions reduction, which closely align with the goals of the federal government and federal health systems.

To celebrate and expand these commitments to climate resilience and emissions reduction, we are planning an event in June where health care sector stakeholders making commitments will be recognized.

If you are interested in signing the pledge below and being recognized at the time of this event in June, please download the attached form, fill out it and send it to OCCHE@hhs.gov by June 3, 2022.

Sign the Pledge

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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. We will celebrate these commitments in an upcoming event and aim to follow that with a series of resources in the coming months to further support this essential work.

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

The pledges made here are voluntary; the organizations that sign this pledge will not be 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?

We will have a webinar to recap the pledge opportunity and answer questions from 1:00 pm-1:45 pm ET on May 5, 2022. Sign up for the OCCHE newsletter here to receive connection information. In addition, we plan to communicate about the pledge opportunity with a number of health care sector trade and professional associations.  We welcome questions and invitations for additional speaking opportunities anytime at OCCHE@hhs.gov.

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)
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