Health Care Working Group

Focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and delivering the significant health benefits of climate mitigation and adaptation to the communities we serve.


Major initiatives include

  • Leading Boston in understanding and responding to the many health benefits of climate action. Metro Boston hospitals have made significant energy reduction and GHG progress. New analysis completed in June 2021 shows they cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent between 2011 through 2019 despite serving more patients and expanding health care facility space by 10%. These GHG emissions reductions are equivalent to eliminating 195 million miles traveled by an average passenger vehicle. According to Health Care Without Harm’s Energy and Health Impact Calculator, the changes in Metro Boston health care’s energy use from 2011 to 2019 will result in the associated social costs (health and climate impacts) declining by $20,628,769 per year, lost or restricted workdays declining by 835.7 per year, and premature deaths declining by
    1.3 per year.
  • Advancing health care system, facility and infrastructure resilience in the face of climate-accelerated public health threats and extreme events. Recent failures during Super Storm Sandy, and the New England ice storm have put renewed focus on system reliability for critical public health & safety infrastructure.  Ongoing work helps hospitals assess and respond to their climate vulnerabilities while acting as anchor institutions to support resilience in the communities they serve.
  • Energy/GHG Metrics: Virtually all the major Boston area hospitals, encompassing over 65 buildings with 24 million square feet of owned space, regularly enter energy and facility data into EPAs Energy Star Portfolio Manager, maintaining the first-and-only-in-the-nation health care metropolitan area energy and GHG data set. We periodically analyze >24,000 records to track the sector’s collective progress towards the GRC’s shared goals of a 25 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2020, and 100 percent by 2050. Read the full report.
  • Strategic Energy Master Plans (SEMP): Based on work by Partners Health Care, participants created a uniform RFP for Simplified Strategic Energy Master Plans/Strategic MOUs. The document has been shared across all GRC sectors.
  • Leased Space: Based on Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centers demand ventilation reduction program, participants created standard language for institutional Landlord-Tenant-Utility agreements to advance energy efficiency projects in leased space. The document has been shared across all GRC sectors.
  • Energy efficiency and Clean Energy policy input to state, utility and municipal policy makers and governmental departments.
  • Working meetings of facility directors from all the hospitals typically advance:
    • Sharing of best practice case studies and strategies for energy efficiency
    • Energy efficiency and clean energy policy
    • Leverage alternative financing, incentives and ROI tools
    • Ensure energy/climate action is part of community health improvement programs


Supporting organizations include:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterMassachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Boston Children’s HospitalMassachusetts General Hospital
Boston Medical CenterMetroWest Medical Center
Brigham & Women’s HospitalNewton Wellesley Hospital
Cambridge Health AllianceNorth Shore Medical Center
Carney HospitalPartners Health Care System
Covenant Health SystemsSpaulding Hospital & Rehabilitation Network
Dana Farber Cancer InstituteSt. Elizabeth’s Medical Center
Faulkner HospitalSteward Health Care System
Heywood HospitalTufts Medical Center

Health Care’s GRC effort is coordinated by Health Care Without Harm-Boston, which works with health care providers to create 21st century health care delivery facilities, systems and process: resilient and regenerative buildings with sustainable practices that embed environmental health concerns.