About Us Sustainability

Can you imagine what our environment would look like if we cared for the earth the same way we cared for our patients?

- Mark Wallace, CEO, 4/22/2021

Sustainability as Leadership

At Texas Children’s Hospital, we are aware of the health care industry’s effect on the health of the earth, which directly affects our patients and their families. Our industry contributes almost 10% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions in this country. 

We know that those emissions are harmful to children and families – the very children and families that we care for, from Texas and across the world. 

Because we believe that sustainability is about caring – caring for children and families and for their future – we are leaders in practicing health care sustainability:

  • Leadership influences outcomes, and in everything we do we strive for the healthiest outcomes possible for the children and families for whom we care.
  • Leadership applies to everyone, which is why we lead by example, building partnerships and collecting key data to make informed and sustainable decisions.
  • Leadership is about skating to where the puck is going to be, which is why we set ambitious sustainability targets for ourselves.

We don’t just imagine a future where we all care for the earth the same way we care for our patients, we’re making it a reality. We have closely examined how our facilities and operations contribute to emissions and want to share some of the details and results of how we are moving forward. Read on to learn more about how we take sustainability seriously.

Mission: A healthier future for children and women throughout our global community is built on sustainability.

Vision: Texas Children’s will become a leader in sustainability and environmentally efficient operations to support child and community health and advance new practices across the Texas Children’s system.

Goal: HHS Pledge:

  1. At minimum, reduce organizational emissions by 50% by 2030 (from a baseline no earlier than 2008) and achieve net-zero by 2050, publicly accounting for progress on this goal every year.
  2. Designate an executive-level lead for our work on reducing emissions by 2023 and conduct an inventory of Scope 3 (supply chain) emissions by the end of 2024
  3. Develop and release a climate resilience plan for continuous operations by December 2023, anticipating the needs of groups in our community that experience disproportion at risk of climate-related harm.

Sustainability Spotlight

Surgical and perioperative practices are significant contributors to hospital-based greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste. Dedicated interdisciplinary teams that focus on reducing waste and emissions in these areas can make substantial contributions to institutional emissions reduction goals. Our Perioperative Sustainability Committee has led three cost-saving and emissions-reducing interventions: reduction of biohazard waste incineration from cardiovascular operating rooms, halving plastic waste from suction tubing and cannisters during short operations at an outpatient surgical center, and the elimination of high-emission culprit, desflurane, from the hospital formulary.

Food waste is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions in health care. At Texas Children’s, we partner with Moonshot Compost to reduce food waste from hospital cafeteria kitchens. In just the first six months, over 70,000 pounds of food waste was diverted from landfills – that’s the equivalent of planting about 4000 trees!

By reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Texas Children’s Hospital transportation shuttle buses, we are helping to make the air cleaner right here in our own community. Additionally, electric vehicle charging stations are now available for faculty, staff, and visitors to charge their EV at Medical Center, West and The Woodlands campuses.

At Texas Children’s, waste management involves the full sustainability triad: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Battery recycling and copy machine toner cartridge recycling are available at all campuses.

Envizi Sustainability Program Tracking partnership that provides data that we have been utilizing to reduce energy consumption and make green building improvements for several years.

Sustainability requires education and reimagining what’s possible. Members of the sustainability team are involved in teaching local medical students and pediatric trainees about greenhouse gas emissions from hospitals and the effects of climate change on child and family health.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about Texas Children’s sustainability initiatives, please contact our team.

Upcoming Events

  • Texas Children's Hospital Grand Rounds - 2/2/24
  • Earth Day - 4/22/24