Mazzetti joins Biden Administration pledge to decarbonize health care sector, make facilities resilient to climate change

11/10/22

Mazzetti’s leadership recognized by Administration officials at COP27

Mazzetti, a global Healthcare Engineering & Consulting firm, was celebrated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) on November 10, 2022 for pledging ongoing action to decarbonize the health care sector and make health care facilities more resilient to the effects of climate change. Mazzetti has formally committed to pursuing the Biden administration’s climate goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and has already completed a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory (in accordance with the GHG Protocol) and is identifying the pathways to dramatically reduce and eliminate its emissions.

A September 2021 consensus statement from more than 200 medical journals named climate change the number one threat to global public health. It exposes millions of people in the United States to harm every year—with disproportionate impacts on communities that are often already the victims of longstanding discrimination—through increases in extreme heat waves, wildfires, flooding, vector-borne diseases and other factors that worsen chronic health conditions. The healthcare sector also contributes to climate change, accounting for approximately 8.5 percent of U.S. domestic emissions.

The HHS Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, developed the White House/HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge to help focus industry response to climate challenges. In addition to reducing their carbon footprint, signatories also commit to producing detailed plans to prepare their facilities for both chronic and acute catastrophic climate impacts.

One hundred two prominent health companies in the U.S. have signed the White House/HHS Health Sector Climate Pledge, including organizations representing 837 hospitals as well as leading health centers, suppliers, insurance companies, group purchasing organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and more. Federal systems like the Indian Health Service (IHS), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and Military Health System (MHS) are working together to meet similar goals to those these private sector organizations have embraced. Combined, this means that over 1,080 federal and private sector hospitals have made such commitments, together representing over 15 percent of U.S. hospitals.

“HHS returns this year to COP27 to report great progress,” said ADM Rachel Levine, the Assistant Secretary for Health. “Through the efforts of the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity and several other HHS agencies, we have made significant strides in introducing resources and supports to help communities and care providers accelerate their work to reduce harmful emissions and increase climate resilience in the health sector.”

Mazzetti’s Approach to Reducing Emissions:

Mazzetti is first and foremost a Benefit Corporation (2021 report available here).

“As a Benefit Corporation, we are required to deliver a public benefit – both societal and environmental,” said Walt Vernon. “As a consulting firm, we are uniquely positioned to help bend the climate curve. And, to avoid hypocrisy, we will first walk the talk. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

After completing our GHG inventory for the past few years, we are targeting the following opportunities for further emissions reduction:

  • Electricity use – ensure all lighting is LED; investigate lighting controls and work with the building owners to implement
  • Reporting – looking into better ways to measure energy usage specifically in our Sacramento, Irvine, and St. Louis offices via sensors.
  • Conduct candid conversations with our building owners, respectively, to access natural gas data and explore opportunities for approximating actual data per SF.

Plans for Tracking Scope 3 Emissions

Regarding Scope 3, which has likely lessened due to reduced travel and greater remote workforce over the last few years, we are planning to address in 2023. This may include remote work emissions and home energy. To be continued.

For Healthcare organizations striving toward net zero emissions, visit Mazzetti’s LinkedIn Newsletter BLUE for timely guidance and information: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/6957911000691982336/

About Mazzetti

Mazzetti is an employee-owned benefit corporation, committed to creating healthier, enduring environments. Though our story began with a small team of MEP engineers, almost 60 years later, we’ve grown to 230+ people, in locations across the U.S. (and in India) with diverse expertise addressing the spectrum of client needs in the built environment. Mazzetti consultants aid clients in the planning, designing, optimizing, equipping, illuminating, sustaining, even “reimagining” of environments, as appropriate. The people of Mazzetti believe in seeking and delivering meaningful work. We intentionally work predominately in the Healthcare industry, notorious for its energy-intensive, highly complex, highly regulated buildings, AND highly impactful relationship with communities. And, in response to the “Code Red” climate crisis, we are urgently bending the climate curve in partnership with our clients and the broader industry. This is our mission and benefit to society.

About the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity

The Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE) plays a vital role in protecting the nation’s health from climate change-related risks, including extreme heat, natural disasters, vector-borne diseases and more. Among the supports OCCHE provides for health sector companies that wish to reduce their environmental impact and become more resilient to the effects of climate change are a webinar series and associated compendium of federal resources to support emissions reduction and resilience. OCCHE also publishes a regular Climate and Health Outlook, an effort to inform health professionals and the public on how our health may be affected in the coming month(s) by climate events and provide resources to take proactive action.

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