View of solar panels on hospital rooftop

By Craig Cordola, MBA, MHA, FACHE
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ascension

Ascension has bold plans for the next chapter of our sustainability journey.

As we look at what lies ahead, we believe that care of God’s creation is not only important, it is an urgent matter that demands immediate attention. Compelled by our Mission to sustain and improve the health of individuals and communities, it is our time to respond in a lasting and impactful way.

In recognition of the Feast of St. Francis on October 4, Ascension has 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 our physical environments, to include our carbon footprint, the operational efficiency of our facilities and sustainable transportation.
  • Responsible Supply Chain focuses on the flow of goods from procurement to disposition, to include responsible purchasing, product usage management, recycling and waste management.
  • Healthy Communities focuses on the relationship between sustainability and social determinants of health, linking back to Ascension’s Mission to sustain and improve the health of the individuals and communities we serve.

As a healthcare ministry, rooted in our Catholic faith and social teaching, we believe it’s an expectation and enormous opportunity for us to approach our work in a different way. We are uniquely positioned to make a difference.

Now is the time to reimagine what environmental impact and sustainability could look like for the next decade and beyond. Together, we will make a difference.

For more information about Ascension’s sustainability work, see this article in the fall 2021 issue of Health Progress, the journal of the Catholic Health Association of the United States.