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Healthcare Sustainability in Environmental and Financial Contexts

Healthcare Sustainability in Environmental and Financial Contexts

The American Hospital Association (n.d.) defines sustainability in healthcare as the incorporation of environmental stewardship, social equality, and fiduciary responsibility across time to ensure healthy, equitable, and resilient environments and communities. From a personal perspective and understanding, sustainability in health care is the delivery of high-quality care in a way that preserves the available environmental and financial resources. This means providing healthcare services in a way that meets the needs of the current times and ensures the ability of the resources to meet the healthcare needs in the future.

Working at the Druid City Hospital (DCH) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has helped me realize that the organization offers various opportunities for meaningful dialogue on sustainable practices. One opportunity that is presented daily within and across all DCH departments are the endless opportunities for interprofessional and interdepartmental collaboration. Collaborative practices are much encouraged in DCH. Such collaborations bring together views and ideas from different professionals on ways to improve efficiency in practice. Efficiency is the basic factor towards achieving continuous sustainability (Schilirò, 2019). These collaborations and conversations have been vital in the ways resources are utilized within the healthcare facility. Another opportunity is the continued training and provision of materials on sustainability within the operations of the hospital.

Consistently, the DCH management is investing towards incorporating “green principles” in all of the hospital’s operations. One of these investments is in-practice training on sustainable practices that have raised discussions on innovative ways to improve sustainable use of the hospital’s resources and reduce wastage. Druid City Hospital is also engaged in an in-house campaign on using digital systems to reduce the use of paper in documentation as well as recycling and reusing what is possible to be recycled and reused. Additionally, DCH actively advocates and pushes for achieving sustainability across the entire supply chain. The hospital is focused on trading with suppliers that utilize low-carbon, low-waste processes in the development of products supplied to the hospital. This has provided an opportunity to take the dialogue on sustainable practices beyond the hospital.

“Green” is significant in the overall purchasing decision for healthcare products and supplies. Considering buying “green” is an indication of environmental consciousness and commitment to environmental protection efforts. Using “green” as the basis of purchasing decisions for healthcare products and supplies ensures the efficiency and sustainability of the products and supplies as they have less waste. Considering “green” as a factor for purchasing in health helps preserve a healthcare facility’s carbon credits which can be traded for money (Haji Esmaeili et al., 2020). Most importantly, considering “green” in the overall purchasing decision for health care products and supplies improves the reputation of the facility among environmentally conscious consumers, leading to better financial performance.

Subsequently, purchasing green products significantly impacts the supply chain budget in a number of ways. One major way green products impact the supply chain budget is through the long-term gains and shelf-life of green products. The reduced waste and energy consumption from green products reduces the frequent need for purchases as well as operational costs. This can greatly reduce the supply chain budget. The majority of green products are also reusable and recyclable. Secondly, green products often lead to operational efficiencies and cost savings over time. Energy-efficient equipment, for example, can reduce energy consumption, lowering utility costs.

Additionally, sustainable procurement practices can result in waste reduction, thus minimizing disposal expenses. Moreover, as sustainability becomes a more prominent part of healthcare, it can attract environmentally conscious investors, donors, and grant opportunities, further supporting the financial health of organizations. Although green products tend to be pricey, the ability to recycle such products creates a closed-loop supply chain that reduces purchasing costs as well as improves competitiveness in the market, hence higher profits (Parsaeifar et al., 2019). In brief, going “green” can reduce wastage and energy consumption, leading to more efficiency and sustainability in healthcare operations.


American Hospital Association. (n.d.). Sustainability for Health Care – Achieving Your Sustainability Goals. AHA. Retrieved October 3, 2023, from

Haji Esmaeili, S. A., Sobhani, A., Szmerekovsky, J., Dybing, A., & Pourhashem, G. (2020). First-generation vs. second-generation: A market incentives analysis for bioethanol supply chains with carbon policies. Applied Energy, 277, 115606.

Parsaeifar, S., Bozorgi-Amiri, A., Naimi-Sadigh, A., & Sangari, M. S. (2019). A game theoretical for coordination of pricing, recycling, and green product decisions in the supply chain. Journal of Cleaner Production, 226.

Schilirò, D. (2019). Sustainability, Innovation, and Efficiency: A Key Relationship. 83–102.


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Healthcare Sustainability in Environmental and Financial Contexts

Healthcare Sustainability in Environmental and Financial Contexts

Analyze best practices for healthcare sustainability in both environmental and financial contexts.


Reflect on the following in a minimum of 500 words:

  • How do you define sustainability in health care?
  • What opportunities exist in your organization for meaningful dialogue about sustainable practices?
  • How important is “green” in the overall purchasing decision for healthcare products and supplies? Defend your answer.
  • Does purchasing green products impact the supply chain budget? In what way?

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