Sustainability Initiatives in Healthcare

Healthcare Principal Ann Fisher introduces Walt Vernon, principal and CEO of Mazzetti. Vernon spoke on "Sustainability Initiatives in Healthcare."

Walt Vernon, principal & CEO of Mazzetti, based in San Francisco, California, visited PDT last Friday to give a presentation "Sustainability Initiatives in Healthcare" to the Maine Healthcare Engineers' Society (MEHES) focused on the FGI white paper "Sustainable Design Guidelines for Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities", the ASHE Sustainability Roadmap, and the Energy Efficiency Challenge (E2C).

Sustainability Facts for Healthcare from the Sustainability Roadmap

Waste and Recycling

Vernon's talk centered around the ASHE Sustainability Roadmap and E2C.

Materials consumption in health care facilities costs health care consumers $10 billion annually in waste disposal costs. 80 percent of this waste is no different from that generated by a hotel, up to 60 percent of which is either recyclable or compostable. A standard recycling program in a hospital can reduce waste by 30–40 percent.


A hospital uses an average of 139,214 gallons of water per day. Water conservation can be achieved by using less waste through better technologies in systems and fixtures and by capturing rainwater and other “used” water for other purposes.


Hospitals consume 2.5 times more energy than other commercial buildings, spending more than $8.7 billion per year according to the EPA Energy Star program.

The Reality

Hospitals must make cost cuts to survive and thrive in the new health care reality. Facilities management is expected to contribute to cost cutting efforts. There is huge potential to generate savings through energy and resource efficiency by implementing a comprehensive sustainability program. (Source: Mazzetti)

The good news is that there are tools that can help:

FGI Sustainable Design Guidelines for Hospitals and Outpatient Facilities

This white paper provides baseline requirements for the building site, energy use, indoor environmental quality, water supply, emissions and pollutant controls, materials and resources, and waste reduction. Additional performance and prescriptive requirements are also listed for facilities desiring to reach above and beyond the baseline minimums.

ASHE Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals

The Sustainability Roadmap provides resources on best practices and low- or no-cost building tune-up strategies that can support your efforts to reduce energy use and save on energy costs

The Energy Efficiency Challenge (E2C)

Participating facilities begin by benchmarking their buildings using Energy Star Portfolio Manager and work to implement low- and no-cost energy efficiency improvements that can reduce energy consumption by at least 10 percent. E2C provides participants with real data, proven strategies, financial tools, local success stories, and fundamental concepts for saving energy.