Leadership Updates

Sustainability at Methodist: Highlighting our successes and mapping the route ahead

Published: April 22, 2024
Vobejda leadership update

A message from Bill Vobejda, vice president of Integrated Services

As we enter Earth Week, I want to discuss sustainability – why it’s important, the successes we’ve had since we began this journey and why what we’re doing matters. 

I must give credit where it’s due, and that’s to employees who indicated through engagement surveys that sustainability is important to them personally and a practice they want in the workplace. Most of our effort have been driven by our people who believe that as a large employer in our communities, Methodist should make sustainability a priority.

We’ve undertaken many initiatives – some that are very visible, and others that are more behind the scenes – that combined have had a significant impact. Here are just a few updates:


Composting and recycling

This is by far our most successful initiative across Methodist. We’re having great success with composting at the 825 Building and seeing more interest across the system. Our recent 825 Building waste audit showed areas for improvement, such as more compost bins and better sorting education, leading to less contamination and improved waste diversion rates. These lessons will be incorporated as we expand composting across the health system.

Our Sustainability Ambassador Leadership Teams (SALTs) have helped immensely with engagement in this space. They’re leading much of the work and activities planned for Earth Week, some of which are very specific to our affiliate locations. I want to thank these volunteer leaders who are making a significant impact on our sustainability efforts through education and behavior changes. A helpful tool that’s accessible to all employees is our sustainability dashboard. This features updates for each of our goals as well as our many successes.


Net zero pathway

Reducing our emissions is one of our most challenging goals. Last year, we completed a Net Zero Pathway Assessment. Net zero emissions are achieved when there’s balance between greenhouse gases produced and those removed from the atmosphere. To achieve it, we must dramatically change the way we use and produce energy. The assessment provided great guidance and propelled us to focus more on design guidelines, equipment changes, etc. We won’t reap the benefits of this work for many years, but it gives us a leg up and the ability to make progress over time. 


Climate vulnerability survey

In partnership with Emergency Management, we conducted a Climate Vulnerability Assessment earlier this year. This gave us the opportunity to better understand what science is telling us about extreme weather for our region. From this data, we were able to evaluate our preparation for extreme weather and significant temperature and humidity swings, as well as our water usage and energy efficiencies. 

Many of our buildings and systems weren’t built to deal with the weather conditions we’ve witnessed in recent years. Climate experts have warned that these issues will likely worsen. These factors impact not only our buildings but also our people – and in turn, our patients. We need strong support systems in place to continue to care for our communities.

Work is underway to adapt and manage our facilities. We’ve begun a retro-commissioning process in which we evaluate building systems and determine their operating efficiency. This will help us meet our goals as well as provide cost savings. 


Join the effort

You should feel good about the work your health system is doing as well as the engaged employees who are working to make our sustainability efforts successful. All this time and focus on improvement is on behalf of our communities. We want to be a leader in the work that needs to be done. As one of the larger employers in the region, this is important. And it’s essential that our thousands of employees take to this lifestyle, as well. 

If you have questions or want to get more involved, please reach out to @email.