Achieving sustainability, going green and becoming environmentally friendly are just some of the catchphrases that serve to remind us that we need to take a new and better approach to our environment.

The world is not ours to keep. We are merely here to guard it and look for ways to make sure that future generations are able to appreciate the resources and the beauty of the Earth that we have left for them.

In 2006, ASHE joined with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR® program to launch a two-year educational campaign about the environmental and financial benefits of pursuing energy efficiency improvements in health care facilities. The ASHE Energy Efficiency Commitment (E2C) project directly supports the goals of the ENERGY STAR Challenge, which encourages building owners across the country to reduce their energy consumption by 10 percent or more.

With increases in utility costs and reduced capital investment opportunities, E2C can help health care facilities achieve dynamic reductions in costs, improve designs for conservation and open new doors for financing projects to reduce overhead costs. In fact, since the program's inception in 2006, more than 30 facilities have been recognized for decreases in their energy usage.

Similarly, by working with other nationally recognized professional organizations, ASHE has been able to increase its sphere of influence and better serve its members by having the ability to expand its information resources. Over the past few months, for example, ASHE has partnered with the International Facility Management Association on a benchmarking survey to measure performance, evaluate effectiveness and foster goal-setting that will help facilities achieve superior outcomes in the closely related areas of operational efficiency and sustainability.

I encourage you to visit the ASHE website at for information on these and other activities.

No matter who you are or where you live, you are being asked in both your professional and personal lives to look for what needs to be done in order to implement sustainable initiatives. I know that together we will take whatever steps are necessary to meet the challenges of today, while working for a better tomorrow.

And, as always, ASHE will be there to help.

Terry L. Martin, CHFM, SASHE

Sidebar - ASHE insight

Resources available

ASHE offers a number of valuable resources at special prices to professionals in the industry. They include the following:

  • Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities. The Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) has partnered with ASHE to publish the FGI's Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities. As the largest personal membership group of the American Hospital Association, ASHE represents a diverse network of professionals dedicated to their work in the health care industry, including health facility managers, engineers, architects and contractors. For information on purchasing the Guidelines in book or CD form, click here.
  • Construction DVD. ASHE has released "Today You are Health Care," the second DVD in the Healthcare Construction Television (HCTV) series. It is a tool for orienting construction workers and vendors on the complexities of working within a health care facility. Buyers also have access to supplementary materials. To preview the DVD and order a copy, click here.