Engaged Leadership

Engaged Leadership

Health care organizations cannot achieve lasting environmental sustainability without the commitment and support of senior leadership, including administrators, clinician leaders and the board of trustees. Some organizations begin by incorporating environmental sustainability goals and objectives into their strategic plans right from the start.  Others begin with a project and work gradually toward developing an environmentally responsible organizational culture.

Why Engaged Leadership

Actively engaged leadership moves sustainability from “basement to boardroom”

  • Actively engaged leadership is essential in achieving success
  • Leadership validates investment of time, energy and resources
  • Organizations that achieve long-term, measurable results have the active and effective support of their medical, management and board leadership
  • Sustainability is a vehicle to achieve quality measures

The HHI Engaged Leadership Challenge is measured through qualitative measures, as outlined below. Levels 1, 2 and 3 are identified by the number of qualitative activities achieved.

Organizations committed to effective sustainability leadership shall adopt ten or more of the following Engaged Leadership strategies over time. To maximize effectiveness, the Healthier Hospitals Initiative recommends selecting at least one indicator from each of the four Engaged Leadership clusters and integrating additional sustainability features as the program develops.

Review the Engaged Leadership Resources for details of each level of commitment and data measurements required.



Sign and submit an executive commitment statement.

Level 1

Implement three of the leadership activities from the reference list.

Level 2

Implement six of the leadership activities from the reference list.

Level 3

Implement ten of the leadership activities from the reference list.


Strategic Priority

  • Create a strategic sustainability plan
  • Create an Environmental Mission Statement/Guiding Principles/Charter
  • Formulate a sustainability program budget
  • Appoint a sustainability executive owner
  • Build in sustainability measures as an organizational priority
  • Create a sustainability reporting structure


Operational Focus

  • Create sustainability responsibilities within the organization
  • Create an environmental steering committee with routine meetings
  • Conduct a sustainability baseline assessment
  • Define measurable sustainability objectives
  • Identify leader for sustainability efforts
  • Identify the clinical champion
  • Demonstrate progress on at least 2 HHI Challenges


Systematic Communication

  • Communicate progress on sustainability initiatives to the board
  • Report progress regularly on sustainability initiatives to leadership team
  • Communicate sustainability progress from the leadership team to the organization routinely
  • Create and distribute an annual sustainability report
  • Provide a feedback mechanism for sustainability initiatives


Stakeholder Engagement

  • Participate in programs to support employee and community engagement
  • Educate all employees about sustainability, including new employees
  • Share sustainability best practices within the industry
  • Engage organizational leaders to serve as spokespeople for the sustainability program
  • Include sustainability initiatives in the community benefit report


File Name Download
Engaged Leadership Fact Sheet.pdf Download File
Engaged Leadership Overview.pdf Download File
Engaged Leadership Measures.pdf Download File
Engaged Leadership Infographic .pdf Download File