Environmental Stewardship Program

Environmental Impact & Sustainability

Our Vision for Sustainability

Ascension recently made a public commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions and zero waste by 2040. This commitment will establish Ascension as a leader in sustainability as we encourage other healthcare organizations to join us. These three pillars will guide our work:

  • Net Zero Places focuses on carbon sources associated with physical environments. This pillar considers the carbon footprint and operational efficiency of facilities as well as sustainable transportation.

  • Responsible Supply Chain focuses on the flow of goods from their procurement all the way through their disposition after use—encompassing sustainable sourcing, product usage management, recycling and waste management.  

  • Healthy Communities focuses on the relationship between sustainability and social determinants of health, linking this back to Ascension’s Mission to sustain and improve the health of individuals and communities the ministry is privileged to serve

Learn More About Our Environmental Efforts

  • FY21 Environmental Impact and Sustainability Annual Report: This report details Ascension’s work towards its environmental goals by 2040 as well as describes the progress we’ve made this past fiscal year.

  • Health Progress Story: Craig Cordola, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, penned the following article for Catholic Health Association’s magazine, Health Progress, that details our environmental efforts.

  • Good Day Ascension Podcast: Craig Cordola, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ascension, highlights Ascension's Environmental Impact & Sustainability goal.

  • Environmental Impact and Sustainability microsite: Ascension associates can learn more and get involved by visiting the Environmental Impact and Sustainability intranet site. (login required)


Read our Environmental Impact & Sustainability report for Fiscal Year 2022.

Our FY22 Commitments

United Nations’ Race to Zero
Ascension announced its participation in the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign and has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Ascension’s goal is to achieve net zero carbon 10 years prior to this goal.)
Laudato Si’ Action Platform
Ascension signed the Laudato Si’ Action Platform in response to Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical on Care for our Common Home. The seven-year global program was formed as a collaboration among the Vatican, Catholic organizations and individuals around the world.
Office of Climate Change and Health Equity
Ascension signed the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge. By signing the pledge Ascension commits to meet the administration’s climate goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. 

Green Team

Associates from across Ascension make up the System Green Team. This team provides leadership for the Environmental Impact and Sustainability programs. The dedication of Green Team members allows the Environmental Impact and Sustainability program to foster a culture in which every person understands that stewarding our natural resources is a fundamental, individual responsibility at Ascension.

Good Day Ascension Podcasts

Good Day Ascension Podcasts
Craig Cordola

Featured Podcast

Creating a difference for our communities and associates by the way we care for the environment

Craig Cordola, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ascension, highlights Ascension's Environmental Impact & Sustainability goals.

January 11, 2022


Green Champion Awards
Ascension’s own Environmental Impact and Sustainability program recognized 12 hospitals and their Green Teams with FY21 Green Champion awards. The awards are based on Ascension’s FY23 goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and municipal waste solids sent to landfills.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Best in Class

  • Ascension St. Vincent’s Fishers (Fishers, Indiana)
  • Dell Children’s Medical Center (Austin, Texas)
  • Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas (Austin, Texas)

Most Improved

  • Ascension Seton Highland Lakes (Burnet, Texas)
  • Ascension Providence DePaul Center (Waco, Texas)
  • Ascension St. Vincent Jennings (North Vernon, Indiana)

Improving Waste Management
Best in Class 

  • Ascension Via Christi St. Francis (Wichita, Kansas)
  • Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital - Madison Heights Campus (Madison Heights, Michigan)
  • Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Most Improved

  • Ascension St. Vincent’s St. Clair (Pell City, Alabama)
  • Ascension Seton Williamson (Round Rock, Texas)
  • Ascension Seton Northwest (Austin, Texas)

2022 Partner for Change Award Recipients
Recognized for superior performance in environmental sustainability, covering a range  of programs and activities.

  • Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee (Mequon, Wisconsin)
  • Ascension Saint Mary – Chicago (Illinois)
  • Ascension St. Vincent Anderson (Anderson, Indiana)
  • Ascension St. Vincent's Birmingham (Alabama)
  • Ascension St. Vincent's Southside (Jacksonville, Florida)
  • Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas (Austin, Texas)
  • Lourdes Hospital (Binghamton, New York)

2022 Partner Recognition Award Recipient
Recognized for commitment to environmental improvements and progress in several areas of the organization.

  • Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital (Rochester, Michigan)

2021 Climate Champion awards from Health Care Without Harm
Ascension internationally recognized for environmental efforts

  • Climate Resilience – Gold
  • Climate Leadership – Gold

2020 Energy Star Certifications
The following Ascension sites of care received Energy Star Certifications, demonstrating outstanding performance in facility operations with a focus on energy efficiency.

  • Ascension St. Vincent’s Clay County
  • Ascension St. Vincent Fishers
  • Ascension St. Vincent Warrick
  • Ascension St. John Broken Arrow
  • Ascension St. John Jane Phillips
  • Ascension St. John Owasso
  • Dell Children’s Medical Center
  • Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas
  • Ascension NE Wisconsin – Mercy Campus

2020 ASHE Energy to Care Awards

  • Ascension Seton Shoal Creek
  • Ascension St. Vincent Anderson
  • Ascension St. Vincent’s Blount
2020 Practice Greenhealth: Greenhealth Partner for a Change Award
Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside was recognized with an Environmental Excellence Award from Practice Greenhealth. The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes healthcare facilities that have implemented a significant number of environmental programs and continuously improved and expanded these programs on the path to sustainability.


Focus on Sustainability

Read more about our sustainability efforts in the Good Day Ascension magazine.
Ascension St. Vincent (Indiana)
Ascension Wisconsin
Ascension Via Christi (Kansas)