Our vision for sustainability

Ascension recently made a public commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions and zero waste by 2040. This commitment will establish Ascension as a leader in sustainability as we encourage other healthcare organizations to join us. These three pillars will guide our work:

  • Net Zero Places focuses on carbon sources associated with physical environments. This pillar considers the carbon footprint and operational efficiency of facilities as well as sustainable transportation.

  • Responsible Supply Chain focuses on the flow of goods from their procurement all the way through their disposition after use—encompassing sustainable sourcing, product usage management, recycling and waste management.  

  • Healthy Communities focuses on the relationship between sustainability and social determinants of health, linking this back to Ascension’s Mission to sustain and improve the health of individuals and communities the ministry is privileged to serve.
Learn more about our environmental efforts:

FY21 Environmental Impact and Sustainability Annual Report: This report details Ascension’s work towards its environmental goals by 2040 as well as describes the progress we’ve made this past fiscal year.

Health Progress Story: Craig Cordola, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, penned the following article for Catholic Health Association’s magazine, Health Progress, that details our environmental efforts.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability microsite: Ascension associates can learn more and get involved by visiting the Environmental Impact and Sustainability intranet site. (login required)

Green Team
Associates from across Ascension make up the System Green Team. This team provides leadership for the Environmental Impact and Sustainability programs. The dedication of Green Team members allows the Environmental Impact and Sustainability program to foster a culture in which every person understands that stewarding our natural resources is a fundamental, individual responsibility at Ascension.

2020 Energy Star Certifications

The following Ascension sites of care received Energy Star Certifications, demonstrating outstanding performance in facility operations with a focus on energy efficiency.

  • Ascension St. Vincent’s Clay County
  • Ascension St. Vincent Fishers
  • Ascension St. Vincent Warrick
  • Ascension St. John Broken Arrow
  • Ascension St. John Jane Phillips
  • Ascension St. John Owasso
  • Dell Children’s Medical Center
  • Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas
  • Ascension NE Wisconsin – Mercy Campus

2020 ASHE Energy to Care Awards

  • Ascension Seton Shoal Creek
  • Ascension St. Vincent Anderson
  • Ascension St. Vincent’s Blount


2020 Practice Greenhealth: Greenhealth Partner for a Change Award

Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside was recognized with an Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth. The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes healthcare facilities that have implemented a significant number of environmental programs and continuously improved and expanded these programs on the path to sustainability.


Ascension has won multiple Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence awards since 2002.

2016 Awards
  • Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Partner for Change Award
  • Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Partner Recognition Award
  • Seton Shoal Creek Hospital in Austin, Texas, Partner Recognition Award
2015 Awards
  • Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Partner for Change Award
  • Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin, Texas, Top 25 Award and Circle of Excellence Awards in the Energy, Water and Green Building categories.
American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association, Energy Efficiency Commitment (E2C)
  • Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, reduced energy use by 10 percent
  • Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, reduced energy by 15 percent
  • Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, reduced energy use by 25 percent
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR Certifications
Three Ascension hospitals achieved ENERGY STAR certification in 2015. 
  • Columbia St. Mary’s – Ozaukee Campus in Mequon, Wisconsin
  • Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee
  • St. Vincent’s Medical Center Clay County in Middleburg, Florida
Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin, Texas was included in Becker’s Hospital Review 50 of the Greenest Hospitals in America 2015.

St. Vincent Fishers Hospital in Fishers, Indiana was awarded LEED® Green Building Certification for Healthcare
Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin, Texas is the first LEED-HC Platinum Hospital

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment awarded Via Christi Health in Wichita, Kansas a 2015 Pollution Prevention Award for its “Greening the OR” initiatives and efforts in energy conservation.