Chair Files

Continuous Improvement in Energy Management

The health care field leaves a large environmental footprint, but hospitals and health care systems like Memorial Hermann Health System in southeast Texas are working to change that. In 2006, when the health care system began tracking energy use at its facilities, it discovered its newest buildings were less efficient than the older ones. Memorial Hermann began setting energy-efficiency goals, and in the process created a “culture of competition” among its technical teams. Each Memorial Hermann facility works to have the lowest energy consumption in the system while providing excellent customer satisfaction, according to Michael Hatton, system executive. From 2008 to 2012, Memorial Hermann reduced energy consumption by more than 18%, and its ENERGY STAR score improved, moving from below the 40th percentile to the 68th percentile. Eight of 12 hospitals in the system have earned ENERGY STAR certification. The health care system also reduced overall greenhouse emissions by 20%. Cost savings from its sustainability initiatives have totaled about $47 million. Continuous improvement includes energy benchmarking, researching best practices and staff education. Memorial Hermann was named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for 2013 and 2014 by the Environmental Protection Agency. Hatton says Memorial Herman’s efforts and success can be replicated by other hospitals. For more information, contact Hatton at

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) and the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM), all AHA affiliates, developed the “Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals,”  a free online resource with how-to guides and other information on energy, water and waste management. features case studies, webinars and guides from AHA resources and other groups.


Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......