INDIANAPOLIS, May 8, 2017 – Medxcel Facilities Management (Medxcel FM) and Ascension announced today that its Environmental Stewardship Program has met the Better Buildings Challenge goal of 20 percent energy reduction by 2020 across its acute care hospital portfolio. From July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2016, Ascension has reduced energy usage by 21.4 percent, saved $53.3 million in cost avoidance and reduced over 1,114,600 tons of carbon dioxide emission across 141 healthcare facilities over three years ahead of plan.  

“As a Catholic health ministry, environmental stewardship is part of Ascension’s DNA,” said Robert J. Henkel, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascension Healthcare, and Executive Vice President, Ascension, who was an original sponsor of the energy efficiency initiative. “Our Mission calls us to sustain and improve the health of individuals and communities, and we know caring for the environment is an essential piece of that. From a Mission standpoint as well as a value standpoint, it was the right thing to do.”
“Not only is this a significant accomplishment for the healthcare facilities we serve,” states Michael Argir, Chief Executive Officer and President, Medxcel FM, “but there is also a major impact on the communities in which those facilities serve.”
Since Ascension and Medxcel FM began working toward this bold goal with the action of health ministry facility managers, the Environmental Stewardship Program has expanded into nine categories, including leadership & infrastructure, education & communication, food systems, energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable site & transportation, chemical management, environmentally preferred purchasing and waste management. 
“Ascension’s Environmental Stewardship Program began with energy efficiency. We have tracked energy use in our acute care hospitals since 2008 and are very proud of achieving the goal more than three years early to reduce energy use 20 percent across the portfolio. We are able to demonstrate the economic, environmental and social benefits of caring for the earth while we carry out our Mission of delivering compassionate, personalized care,” said Lois Sechrist, Environmental Stewardship Program Lead. “Our decisions today will be far reaching, as we work to provide the best care possible to those we serve while providing the ability for future generations to meet their own needs.”
Care for the Earth remains as important now as it was for Ascension’s historic sponsors. During the 2008 recession, the incentive to reduce costs motivated Ascension to track energy use as the first environmental stewardship metric to be monitored at the System level. After an initial 5 percent energy-use reduction goal was met in 2011, Ascension committed to a 20 percent reduction in energy use by 2020 as part of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. Ascension, which was then composed of 68 acute care facilities spread across 30 million square feet, joined 60 founding members and was one of two health systems originally involved in the program.
The success of the energy reduction initiative yielded another serendipitous outcome for the organization.
“As hospitals became conscious of the value that came with improved energy efficiency, they began to ask about related strategies such as recycling programs, safer chemicals and environmentally preferred purchasing,” said Dan Scher, Senior Director, Planning, Design & Construction, Ascension. “Energy efficiency is one of nine strategies the Ascension Environmental Stewardship Program has put in place to impact the health and wellness of the communities it serves.”
This accomplishment is significant, but just as significant is sustainability.
“Sustainability offers a strategic framework that unifies everyone around the world to optimize environmental, economic and social benefits,” Argir states. “Through the American Society for Healthcare Engineering Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals, Medxcel FM has established four key goals that are incorporated into our daily work. They include reducing energy use, waste and costs; getting ahead of the regulatory curve; enhancing the environment for patient care; and improving our organization’s standing in the community.”
“We are leading the transformation of healthcare facilities management by offering a model that has a focus on ensuring an efficient and safe healing environment that positively impacts the communities we serve,” says Argir. “By achieving these goals ahead of schedule with our Environmental Stewardship Program, we are demonstrating that we take our impact on the communities seriously and strive to continue to improve the environmental footprint of the healthcare facilities we serve across the country.”
Learn more about Ascension’s Environmental Stewardship Program at http://ascension.org/community-impact/environmental-stewardship-program.
About Medxcel FM
Medxcel Facilities Management (Medxcel FM), a subsidiary of Ascension, understands that facilities serve a higher purpose – providing safety and comfort to patients. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Medxcel FM creates healthcare service support products and drives in-house capabilities, savings and efficiencies for healthcare organizations that, in turn, improve the overall healthcare environment for patients and staff. Medxcel FM works collaboratively with the Ascension Environmental Stewardship team to ensure sustainability across all healthcare facilities. For more information, please visit www.medxcelfm.com.
About Ascension
Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2016, Ascension provided more than $1.8 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 150,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers. Ascension’s Healthcare Division operates 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia, while its Solutions Division provides a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization. For more information, please visit www.ascension.org.