Advocate Health Care

Headquarters: Oakbrook, IL
Sustainability Page:

Recognized as one of the nation's top ten health systems in the U.S., based on clinical performance. Advocate Health Care is the largest fully integrated health care delivery system in Illinois. This faith based, not-for-profit health system is based in Oak Brook, Illinois. To guide its relationships and actions, Advocate embraces the five values of compassion, equality, excellence, partnership and stewardship.

"We recognize that sustaining the health of the environment is critical to preserving human health. We consider conservation of resources, both natural and monetary, as fundamental to our mission of delivering quality health care to the communities we are privileged to serve."

Jim Skogsbergh
President & CEO
Advocate Health Care

Leadership Talks

As a leading health care organization, Advocate Health Care has a unique responsibility to our associates, patients and communities to maintain and encourage a safe and healthy environment. We recognize that sustaining the health of the environment is critical to preserving human health. Further, we consider conservation of resources, both natural and monetary, as fundamental to our mission of delivering quality health care to the communities we are privileged to serve.

Leadership Walks

  • Created a new position dedicated to lead environmental stewardship efforts and reorganized system facilities and energy management for the entire Advocate Health Care System – consisting of 10 hospitals and over 250 sites of care.
  • Formally created a corporate–level Green Council, chartering it with the mission of "Caring for Our patients, Caring for Our Environment," made up of members who lead hospital and ancillary green teams.
  • In collaboration with three environmental nongovernment organizations (Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth and the Center for Health Design) and nine health systems (Dignity Health, formerly Catholic Healthcare West, Hospital Corporation of America, Kaiser Permanente, MedStar Health, Partners Healthcare, Vanguard Health System, Inova Health System, Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Bon Secours Health System), Advocate is sponsoring the Healthier Hospitals Initiative to support a coordinated sector-wide approach to improve environmental health and safety.
  • Established stepped targets to reduce energy consumption in all Advocate hospitals by 20 percent, over the 2008 baseline, by the end of 2015.
  • Since 2007, Advocate’s hospitals reduce their energy consumption by 17 percent.
  • Proactive energy reduction progress is being achieved by managing to a 200- item checklist created in 2010 to evaluate operational efficiencies related to facilities operations.
  • Retro-commissioning – a systematic, documented process that identifies lowcost operational and maintenance improvements in existing HVAC systems is underway, with a projected annual savings of nearly $500,000.
  • For three consecutive years, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center earned the U.S. EPA Energy Star Award for excellence in energy efficiency. It is the only hospital in Chicago and one of only three hospitals in the state of Illinois to earn this honor.
  • Increased our overall recycling rate from under 10 percent to nearly 25 percent in three years.
  • Built the first LEED Gold hospital in the state of Illinois, which opened in 2009.
  • Utilize "Sustainability Standards" in building and new construction projects.
  • In 2010, recycled 97 percent of new construction and demolition debris.
  • Diverted 24,000 pounds of waste and saved $1.5 million in 2010 by reprocessing medical devices across Advocate's hospitals and out-patient surgery centers.
  • Executed the Health Care Without Harm Healthy Food Pledge, committing to serve local, nutritious, sustainable food and model healthy food practices.
  • In 2011, almost 9,000 of Advocate's 30,000 associates participated in an online training on Advocate's commitment to caring for the environment, outlining specifics on how every associate can contribute to reducing waste and energy and improve the health of our environment.
  • New employee orientation programs educate new associates about the importance of environmental stewardship and associated behavioral expectations associated with being stewards of the environment in the work place.
  • Established annual environmental stewardship award nomination process for Advocate associates to recognize them for being "true stewards" of the environment.
  • Established an Environmental Stewardship Dashboard to track and monitor system-wide progress on goals in energy, waste, construction and environmentally preferable purchasing.

Leadership Envisions

  • Achieve and/or surpass the 20 percent reduction goals in energy use by 2015.
  • Development of guidelines to minimize exposure of people and the environment to harms associated with chemicals in products we use.
  • Integrate sustainable thinking into all operations by linking environmental stewardship goals into the organization's Key Result Areas.
  • Development of a system-wide, organized approach to equipment/furniture/supplies reuse, refurbishment and donation.
  • Advocate intends to be a mentor and leading voice in the health care sector for sharing best practices in green building and sustainable health care operations.

Download a copy of this Leadership Talk