Our Environmental Stewardship Program challenges us to act as stewards of God’s creation and operate at our full potential by identifying and implementing practical solutions to minimize the organization’s impact on the natural environment and the communities we serve.

The Environmental Stewardship Program focuses on nine areas within our health ministries across the country:

Leadership & Infrastructure
Integrating sustainability into organizational strategy

Education & Communication
Creating awareness; improving adoption and practices and sharing success stories

Food Systems
Increasing health and safety in food service while decreasing waste and use on non-therapeutic antibiotics in meat and poultry products

Energy Efficiency
Helping hospitals reduce costs and protect scarce resources

Water Conservation
Decreasing the strain on municipal water supplies and reducing energy needed to treat and deliver water

Sustainable Site & Transportation
Green construction, operations and maintenance of healthcare facilities; vehicles; landscaping; and site water management

Chemical Management
Reducing exposure to chemicals in order to “first do no harm”

Environmentally Preferred Purchasing
Purchasing products that are durable, efficient and cost-effective, while reducing the hospital’s environmental impact

Waste Management & Reduction
Reducing waste while increasing recycling and donations, safely

System Green Team

Associates from across Ascension make up the System Green Team. This team provides leadership for the Environmental Stewardship Program and meets regularly to collaborate and share best practices and innovative programs that are making a difference in our hospitals and our communities.


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.
Farm-to-Table program at Ascension St. Vincent’s, Jacksonville, Florida

LED surgical light – Ascension Borgess Hospital (credit: Lew Tysman)

Recycling Educational Event – Ascension SE Michigan