To acknowledge the ongoing and outstanding sustainability efforts of health care facilities — and environmental services departments in particular — the AHE presents the Environmental Sustainability Certificate Program, sponsored by Tork, an Essity brand. 

This program not only provides guidance on efficient, effective and value-added environmentally sustainable health care operations, but also provides it in such a way that is achievable within all budgets. It is part of the AHE’s overall sustainability initiative, which includes ongoing development of sustainability programs, publications and educational opportunities.

Participation in this program will provide recognition for being proactive and hands-on with sustainable operations and green initiatives. AHE has designed the program not only with recognition in mind, but also guidance in what it takes to be an exceptional example of successful sustainability endeavors. 

Submission guidelines

All submission materials must include all required documents, reports and information, and must adhere to guidelines, including:

  • Facility and applicant information
  • Certificate application requirements
  • List of attachments (title of document(s), file name)
  • Payment/submission information
  • Waste-volume analysis
  • One application for any of the three certificate levels: Silver, Gold or Platinum
  • Only one application per facility

Review process

  • Interviews will be set up between the primary contact and a member of the rewards committee. 
  • In the event that a level is applied for and not achieved, the committee can elect to award a certificate for a different level if criteria are met. Likewise, the committee may award a higher level than for which the facility or department applied.
  • The determination of the committee will be final.
  • The certificate will be valid for a 12-month period. It may be renewed or upgraded at the end of 12 months by submitting a new application.

Help your environmental services department receive the recognition it deserves. For more information, visit

Erin Horng is the operations specialist for the Association for the Healthcare Environment.



Practice guidance available

Practice Guidance for Healthcare Environmental Cleaning, second edition, helps to define and advance the professionals responsible for care of the health care environment to ensure high-quality outcomes and healthy communities. This manual provides evidence-based research, guidance and recommended practices that should be considered for inclusion in health care environmental services departments. Because each facility has its own needs, this resource has been designed to enhance an existing program.

Certificate of Mastery in Infection Prevention

This certificate is a robust program that provides environmental services professionals with requisite knowledge to meet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' requirements for a trained professional in infection prevention and control specific to the clinical environment of care. 

Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician Certificate

This certification focuses on critical areas of competency for front-line technicians, including infection prevention, quality of care, patient outcomes and experience.