Best Practices for Financing Energy Sustainability_2021 Monograph_v4
Best Practices for Financing Energy Sustainability

Building on the previous ASHE "Energy Procurement: A Strategic Sourcing How-To Guide" (2017) and "Best Practices in Business Planning for Energy Resiliency" (2018), this monograph sets forth best practices for financing energy sustainability.

These best practices are described with an emphasis on helping hospitals and associated decision-makers – including professionals from supply chain, facilities, finance, sustainability and public health – navigate the challenges associated with investing in the carbon reduction goals that health care is being asked to implement. Best practices include:

  • Investing strategically.
  • Prioritizing the organization’s highest value.
  • Embracing creative financing strategies.
  • Avoiding common analytical pitfalls.
  • Adopting and customizing a carbon-neutral framework.

Because Medicare reimburses most patient care costs, hospitals are able to profit from investments made in patient-focused technology. However, Medicare does not reimburse energy technology. As a result, hospitals are often reluctant to spend precious health care dollars on energy infrastructure. However, the rapid transformation of the U.S. economy to more sustainable means of producing and using energy is challenging hospitals to revisit how they finance needed improvements in their own energy infrastructure.

A successful sustainable energy program will create financial benefits for the hospital, achieve improved environmental outcomes, and provide for a more healthy community and society at large. This manuscript will focus primarily on the financial aspect, but it is important to understand that none of these solutions exist in a silo. Successful sustainability programs will achieve good outcomes across multiple dimensions. However, because the financing of these sustainability projects represents a particularly difficult challenge for health care, this document will primarily focus on solutions to financing energy sustainability.

Why isn’t this available in print? In support of our Energy to Care program and global sustainability, ASHE is reducing print offerings for certain publications. Questions may be directed to Senior Publications Specialist Eliana Munro at emunro@aha.org.

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