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St. Luke’s Health System expands environmental sustainability commitment through Health Sector Climate Pledge

St. Luke's team members join Chief Operating Officer Sandee Gehrke, seated, as she signs the pledge.
By Christine Myron, Notes and Announcements
April 29, 2024

This Earth Week, St. Luke’s Health System celebrates taking an additional step in its commitment to environmental sustainability by signing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Sector Climate Pledge. The pledge is a voluntary commitment to reduce emissions associated with health care and build resilience in the country’s health care organizations and institutions. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Nationally, the health care sector represents more than 8% of the country’s carbon emissions. St. Luke's recognizes that we have a responsibility and an opportunity to help reduce carbon emissions and make a positive impact in our state,” said Dr. Ethan Sims, environmental sustainability director and emergency department physician with St. Luke’s.

Since 2022, St. Luke’s environmental sustainability team has collected and organized St. Luke’s data and participated in hospital benchmarking efforts to better understand how our organization compares with similar U.S. healthcare institutions.

“At St. Luke's we practice environmental sustainability through the daily work we do – improving energy efficiency, waste mitigation and smart use of natural resources,” said Stephanie Wicks, St. Luke’s sustainability leader.

The Health Sector Climate Pledge will offer resources and recommendations to support St. Luke’s progress on emissions and climate resilience goals.

St. Luke’s intends to develop intermediate goals to track and report improvements. Beginning in 2025, as part of the pledge, St. Luke’s plans to provide publicly accessible reports on progress.

“The climate plays a vital role in health, and this pledge aligns with St. Luke’s mission to improve the health of people in the communities we serve. St. Luke’s is proud to be the first hospital system in Idaho to take the HHS health sector climate pledge and take this next step forward in our commitment to environmentally sustainable practices while providing the highest quality care for our patients,” added Dr. Sims.

More about the Health Sector Climate Pledge

The pledge was launched on Earth Day in 2022 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the White House. The voluntary pledge joins St. Luke’s with the 900 hospitals across the country that have taken the pledge. More information about the Health Sector Climate Pledge, including a list of organizations that have signed the pledge can be found here.

About The Author

Christine Myron is the Treasure Valley public relations manager for St. Luke’s Health System.