The White House/HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge is now open on an ongoing basis. Health sector organizations can commit to emissions reduction and climate resilience goals by filling out this form and sending it to OCCHE@hhs.gov.
We also encourage you to check out OCCHE’s Health Sector Resource Hub for information on programs and supports for health stakeholders investing in emissions reduction and resilience, including those created by the landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Early 2024 marks the beginning of an exciting new Catalytic Program on taking advantage of the IRA and its transformative opportunities for investments in clean energy, building efficiency, building resilience and more. A recorded November information session offers more details!
On March 9, 2023, HHS announced that the Health Sector Climate Pledge will be accepting new signatories on an ongoing basis. The announcement comes after multiple health sector stakeholders requested to join the initiative following its October 2022 deadline.
Going forward, organizations can sign the Pledge at any time and will be recognized through announcements on two occasions each year. Organizations that submit their Pledge form by April 12 will be recognized in an Earth Day announcement. Organizations that submit their Pledge form by November 1 (extended to November 16 in 2023) will be recognized in an announcement around the time of the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP).
Over 130 organizations have joined the White House/HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge, demonstrating their commitment to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and building more climate resilient infrastructure. You can learn more about the Pledge and how OCCHE is supporting health sector organizations on their sustainability journeys in this HHS press release.
On Earth Day 2022, the White House and HHS launched the Health Sector Climate Pledge, a voluntary commitment to climate resilience and emissions reduction that includes cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. A group of 133 organizations representing 900 hospitals have signed the Pledge as of November 16, 2023. In addition to hospitals, these stakeholders include health centers, suppliers, insurance companies, group purchasing organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and more. Federal systems like the Indian Health Service (IHS), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and Military Health System (MHS) are working together to meet goals similar to those the private sector organizations have embraced. Combined, this means that over 1,150 federal and private sector hospitals have made such commitments, together representing over 15% of U.S. hospitals.
Specifically, pledge signers commit to:
- 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.
- Designate an executive-level lead for their work on reducing emissions by 2023 or within six months of signing the pledge and conduct an inventory of Scope 3 (supply chain) emissions by the end of 2024.
- Develop and release a climate resilience plan for continuous operations by the end of 2023 or within six months of signing the pledge, anticipating the needs of groups in their community that experience disproportionate risk of climate-related harm.
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. Relevant resources are noted below.
White House/HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge Signatories as of November 16, 2023
Health Systems, Hospitals and Other Providers
AdventHealth, Advocate Aurora Health, Advocate Children's Hospital, AltaMed Health Services Corporation, Ascension, Aspirus Health, Atlantic Health System, Atrium Health, Baystate Health, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Berkshire Health Systems, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Care Alliance Health Center, CentraState Healthcare System, Cherokee Health Systems, Children’s National Hospital, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, ChristianaCare, CommonSpirit Health, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, DaVita, Denver Health and Hospital Authority, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, Englewood Health, Full Circle Health, Gillette Children’s, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Gundersen Health System, Hackensack Meridian Health, Hartford HealthCare, HealthPartners, Henry Ford Health, HonorHealth, Jackson Health System, John Muir Health, Kaiser Permanente, Keck Medicine of USC, Kedren Health, Legacy Health, Mass General Brigham, Memorial Health Services (MemorialCare), Montefiore, Mount Sinai Health System, Nebraska Medicine, Northern Arizona Healthcare, Northern Light Health, Northwell Health, NYC Health + Hospitals, NYU Langone Health, OhioHealth, OLE Health, One Brooklyn Health, Oregon Health & Science University, Providence Health, Rochester Regional Health, Rush University System for Health, RWJBarnabas Health, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Southcoast Health, SSM Health, Stanford Children’s Health, Stanford Health Care, Stanford Health Care Tri-Valley, Steward Health Care System, Stony Brook University Hospital, Sun River Health, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Texas Children's, The Valley Health System, Tufts Medicine, University Medical Center of El Paso, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of California Health, University of Michigan Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, University of Utah Health, US Acute Care Solutions, UW Medicine, Valley Children’s Healthcare, Waterbury Hospital, WellSpan Health, Western Wisconsin Health
Other Industry Organizations
AmerisourceBergen, AstraZeneca, Biogen, Becton Dickinson (BD), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Blue Shield of California, Blue Zone Technologies, Cardinal Health, Chiesi Group, Daniels Health, Eaton, Elevance Health, Excellus Health, GE HealthCare, GSK, MindClick, Inc., NewGen Surgical, Owens & Minor, Pfizer, Philips, Premier, Inc., Prime Therapeutics, Prospera Institute, Sanofi, Sodexo Healthcare & Senior Living USA, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Vizient, WCM Waste and Compliance Management, ZGF Architects
Associations, Nonprofits and Technical Assistance Organizations
Abt Associates, American Board of Surgery, American College of Physicians (NJ), American Medical Women's Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Children's Hospital Association, Clinically Sustainable LLC, ecoAmerica, Envinity, Inc, Health Care Without Harm, Health Promotion Consultants, High Alert Institute, Inc., Kimball Sustainable Healthcare, Mazzetti, My Green Lab, National Academy of Medicine, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), The Joint Commission
Relevant Resources and Supports
HHS and its partners from other federal departments are offering a new phase of technical assistance and support intended to accelerate work to advance emissions reduction and climate resilience:
- A Health Sector Resource Hub from OCCHE designed to help the health sector understand what resources, tools, and informational materials are available to accelerate the important work of emissions reduction and climate resilience. The Hub features:
- A Quickfinder for Leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for the Health Sector. The Quickfinder explores how the landmark law’s billions of dollars in grants, loan programs, and tax credits can help transform the industry by significantly increasing access to funds that will create resilient and renewable infrastructure.
- A webinar series on available government supports to assist healthcare stakeholders in their work on emissions reduction and climate resilience. Entitled “Accelerating Healthcare Sector Action on Climate Change and Health Equity,” this series features webinars on topics including financing resources available to support facility investments in sustainable infrastructure development and tools to support emergency preparedness and response. In 2023, the series will focus on the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provides billions of dollars in grants, loan programs, and other investments for clean energy and resilience that we believe can accelerate the work of the health care sector. New sessions will be announced soon.
- A compendium of federal resources to support emissions reduction and climate resilience for healthcare stakeholders, including those resources discussed in the webinar series. This is a living document that is continually updated. The compendium includes Guidance for the Health Sector on using the Environmental Protection Agency’s free benchmarking tool ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. The guidance explores how different providers and suppliers might use Portfolio Manager to track building-related energy and greenhouse gas emissions, starting with basics like how facilities can identify their appropriate property type.
- A primer from the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality that offers guidance on high-priority measures and strategies for healthcare organizations to reduce their carbon footprint.
- 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, is a national forum for health professionals and organizations looking to deepen their knowledge about the cardiovascular health threats that climate change (e.g., air pollution and extreme heat events) presents, offer evidence-based interventions to address those threats (especially for high-risk populations), and provide opportunities to test and refine relevant solutions and tools. The collaborative was introduced in a November 3, 2022 webinar that can be viewed here. Register for upcoming Million Hearts CCC interactive webinars here.
- 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. You can learn more about the Federal Health Systems Learning Network in a webinar.
If you have any questions, please contact OCCHE@hhs.gov.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There is no deadline. Going forward organizations will be able to sign the Pledge at any time and will be recognized announcements on two occasions each year. Organizations that submit their Pledge form by April 12 will be recognized in an Earth Day announcement. Organizations that submit their Pledge form by November 1 will be recognized in an announcement around the time of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28).
The IRA is landmark legislation providing billions of dollars in grants, loan programs and other investments. OCCHE’s Quickfinder for Leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for the Health Sector explores how the IRA can help transform the industry by significantly increasing access to funds that will create resilient and renewable infrastructure. OCCHE also offers an associated webinar series exploring these opportunities in greater detail with agency experts and a Catalytic Program on utilizing the IRA.
OCCHE will continue to share major IRA announcements through the Quickfinder as well as through OCCHE alerts. We also recommend you review the White House Guidebook to the IRA’s Investments in Clean Energy and Climate Action.
There is no required method for developing a climate resilience plan but we encourage you to review Climate Resilience Plan Elements for Healthcare Organizations, a document OCCHE developed to explain the essential elements of climate resilience plans for healthcare facilities. We also note that the Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Health Care Facilities Toolkit provides an overview guide highlighting emerging best practices for developing sustainable and climate-resilient health care facilities, and this will be updated as new resources become available. OCCHE’s Compendium of Federal Resources includes additional resources and guidance related to resilience planning.
No, anyone can access the resources listed on this page.
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.
The pledge is voluntary; the organizations that sign it are not legally obligated to report data on their progress to HHS in association with this initiative and HHS will also not impose any penalties in association with this initiative. However, our expectation is that – as noted in the pledge form - signing organizations will proactively share their progress with the public, just as federal health care providers will do in the coming years.
Notably, several health systems are already reporting data on their emissions for other state and federal requirements. HHS is also exploring 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.
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.
We hope Pledge signatories who sign after a deadline has already passed will complete items no later than 6 months after signing.