Given its vision of "a society of healthy communities where all individuals reach their highest potential for health," it's perhaps no surprise that the American Hospital Association (AHA) is playing an important role in the health care industry's push toward environmental sustainability.

In fact, two of its latest initiatives recently have received coverage in Health Facilities Management. They are the newly launched Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals website (, which was developed by the AHA's American Society for Healthcare Engineering, Association for the Healthcare Environment, and Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management; and the previously introduced Executive Primer on Hospital Environmental Sustainability website (, which is aligned with the AHA's Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence ( strategic platform.

While the Roadmap was devised to help hospital managers, staff and designers chart a sustainability course and the Primer is directed more toward helping C-level executives drive change, both provide a wealth of information and tools about building design and construction, energy, water, waste, supply chain and chemicals that can help reduce a health care facility's environmental footprint.

A hospital's long-term focus on environmental performance is key to its roles as a good neighbor and a positive force for change in the community. Moreover, financial and operational efficiencies that accrue from a successful sustainability effort can help health care organizations fulfill their mission of providing quality care.

Sustainable health care operations go to the very heart of the AHA's vision. So, who better to provide a pathway for success?