Environmental stewardship

Since its founding, CHI has been committed to environmental responsibility and stewardship as part of our Catholic heritage and mission to build healthier communities. As our climate changes, we must strive for sustainable practices that preserve the earth and all its resources, now and for generations to come.  CHI’s reverence for the environment calls us to:

  • Conserve and preserve natural resources
  • Recycle, reduce waste and reuse materials
  • Use energy-efficient technologies
  • Use natural, sustainable and healthy chemicals
  • Eliminate toxins and harmful chemicals
  • Use environmentally preferable purchasing

CHI recognizes that hospitals and other health facilities have very large carbon footprints. When combined with the footprint of our employees and their families, the impact CHI has on the environment can grow even larger. As a way to help colleagues understand how climate change affects human health, CHI developed a resource - Climate Change and Health in the United States.

We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of God’s creation. Care for the earth is a duty of our faith and a sign of our concern for all people.

- Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: The U.S. Bishops’ Reflection on Catholic Teaching and Political Life

CHI was among three Catholic health systems to win a grant from the National Religious Partnership for the Environment and the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change to raise awareness about global climate change. From the grant and educational campaign, we produced a 26-page booklet titled Faithfully Healing the Earth: Catholic Health Care and Climate Change.

CHI is a founding and sponsoring organization in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative-an industry-wide movement to mitigate the harmful effects health care has on the environment.

Environmental champions across CHI are taking steps to mitigate harmful impact on the earth and in CHI communities. Working together for a more sustainable future ensures a healthier environment now and for generations to come.

As one current example of CHI’s commitment to the environment and to vulnerable populations, we’ve eliminated bottled water from our offices and from most of our facilities. Since Americans recycle less than 40% of the bottles used, and those un-recycled bottles take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose, it is imperative that we change our ways. This initiative honors a depleting supply that leaves more than one billion people globally without access to safe drinking water.

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative

CHI is a founding sponsor of one of the most important movements in health care sustainability - the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI), a nation wide campaign to increase environmental health and to make hospitals part of the solution to prevent environmental degradation.

CHI accepted three of the six challenges for hospitals - Engaged Leadership, Leaner Energy, and Healthier Food - making great strides in each. Now, CHI will continue this important work, as well as devote time and attention to reducing waste, smarter purchasing and the use of safer chemicals.

Click on any of the six challenges to find out more.

Engaged Leadership

Leaner Energy

Healthier Food

Less Waste

Safer Chemicals

Smarter Purchasing

In caring for the environment, we show respect for those most vulnerable among us who are often most negatively affected by climate change, food insecurity and polluted environments.

Listen to the White House Discussion on the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) hosted a discussion on "Greening America's Hospitals" highlighting the importance of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. 

HHI founding organizations

The HHI Initiative was formed by the partnership of three organizations with similar environmental purpose in health care.  To learn more about the organizations, visit their websites below:

Practice Greenhealth

Health Care Without Harm

The Center for Health Design


For more information, contact Advocacy@catholichealth.net