The Joint Commission announces Sustainable Healthcare Certification

Nov. 2, 2023
The Joint Commission recently announced that a new certification for U.S. hospitals that demonstrate sustainability

The Joint Commission announced that it will have a Sustainable Healthcare Certification for U.S. hospitals launching Jan. 1, 2024. The Joint Commission’s website states that “Across the health care sector, hospitals and health systems are pursuing decarbonization efforts without a common framework for setting priorities, creating baselines, and measuring and documenting greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions across the industry. This certification provides a framework to help organizations expand or continue their decarbonization efforts and to receive public recognition of their commitment and achievements in contributing to environmental sustainability.”

“Achieving Sustainable Healthcare Certification is not only beneficial for the environment but also for the organization's bottom line, patient outcomes, reputation, and compliance efforts,” adds the Joint Commission. “It aligns health care organizations with sustainable practices and positions them as mindful and responsible care providers in an increasingly environmentally conscious world.”

The Joint Commission also outlines what it takes to be certified. Any hospital or critical access hospital can apply if:
•    The organization is in the U.S., operated by the U.S. government, or operated under a charter of the U.S. Congress
•    The organization is a hospital or critical access hospital that is compliant with relevant federal laws, including applicable Medicare Conditions of Participation.
•    At the time of review, the organization needs to have baseline emissions data for three GHG emission sources and an action plan to reduce emissions
•    At the time of recertification, the organization needs to have 24 months of data and demonstrate a reduction of three GHG emission sources

The Joint Commission has more information.