One of the major accomplishments of the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) Advisory Board and staff during my presidency has been launching a new strategic plan to guide our work through 2024.

“Goal A” of the plan is “Optimization of Health Care Facility Operations.” This is to provide members with the resources, tools and content they need to optimize health care operations. This includes supporting the field with cross-functional environmental sustainability and decarbonization initiatives. Although ASHE’s sustainability efforts once focused primarily on reducing energy consumption, it is imperative that each of us begin or continue to expand upon that original focus.

Sustainability and decarbonization initiatives also are identified in the American Hospital Association’s (AHA’s) new strategic plan. As an AHA professional membership group (PMG) with considerable expertise in the topic, ASHE is joining the AHA policy team and other PMGs to lead efforts in developing and implementing those initiatives, including a recent partnership with the National Academy of Medicine focused on decarbonizing the U.S. health care sector.

Because sustainability and energy imperatives typically land with health care facilities professionals, ASHE’s essential influence in the global conversation will naturally promote the fundamental purpose ASHE members have in the health care field.

In addition to continuing our advocacy efforts, another example of how we are addressing Goal A is in developing resources and tools for technical staff and facilities managers so they can run facilities efficiently and effectively. These new tools and resources will incorporate resources from the PMGs and build upon the great work ASHE has done.

In the area of sustainability, ASHE already offers an impressive array of tools and resources, including the Energy to Care Program, energy conservation measures and recent monographs like the “ASHE Sustainability Guide” and “Best Practices for Financing Energy Sustainability.” And there is more to come!

Isn’t it great to know that, as we begin or expand our sustainability practices, we can continue to look to ASHE as a trusted resource to help us succeed?