Mantis - Branded Feature

Critical Questions To Ask & An Approach That Works To Achieve Big Facility Goals


By: Mike Bendewald, Vice President of Sustainability

From complex re-roof projects over operational surgery centers to large-scale lighting retrofits that improve patient and staff well-being, the challenges, needs, and goals within the healthcare industry require care and proper planning. Service providers that work closely with administrators and facility staff to understand budget constraints, identify funding sources, and ensure the safety of the patients, guests, and staff will deliver the best outcomes.

Key Challenges

Healthcare facilities face several challenges in reducing energy use, implementing energy efficiency projects, extending the life of facility assets, and meeting sustainability targets. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), some of the challenges include:

  • Balancing energy efficiency with patient comfort and safety
  • Executing on projects without disrupting operations
  • Limited funding and resources for energy efficiency projects and asset replacements
  • Lack of awareness and understanding of assets and energy spend across the portfolio
  • Difficulty in measuring and verifying energy savings
  • Resistance to change and lack of buy-in from stakeholders
  • Shortage of a skilled workforce to effectively plan and execute projects

Despite these challenges, many healthcare facilities are making progress reducing their carbon footprint through effective, efficient sustainability measures. Some hospitals are implementing energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, and renewable energy sources. Others are finding opportunities within their building footprint, from preventive roof maintenance and leak response, to improving safety through pavement asset management.

What is more, in response to the growing challenge of reducing carbon emissions, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has called on the healthcare industry to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve Net Zero by 2050. A lack of bandwidth leaves many healthcare organizations struggling to not only benchmark, but put a cost effective, attainable sustainability roadmap in place.

Critical Questions to Ask Your Teams:

At a high level, you may want to ask your staff some big questions:

  • Do we have opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce operating costs?
  • How do we transition from a ‘run to fail’ to a more proactive management of our facility assets?
  • We have set decarbonization goals—how will we get there? Do we have the right team and skillset in place?

But there is a lot packed into those big, broad questions. Getting granular—with the right guidance—will require more serious reflection.

HVAC/Mechanical Improvements

Are you struggling to cost-effectively upgrade or replace HVAC equipment to achieve efficient and effective system operation and comfortable conditions? How can HVAC, water management, and electricity needs be streamlined to support more efficient and sustainable operations?

LED Lighting

Have you updated all your lighting to LED?

Building Automation Systems

What problems are you running into while maintaining or serving your system? Are you leveraging your BAS to meet your sustainability goals?

EV Charging

Do you have a full understanding of how EV charging stations will fit into the ecosystem of your facilities’ parking lots and loading docks?

Pavement Asset Management

Do you know what the current condition score is for your pavement building-by-building or in aggregate? Is there an opportunity to eliminate trip and fall hazards and improve aesthetics of your parking lots and access roads?

Roof Asset Management

How are you managing your roofs now? How do you know when to tackle the next roofing project? How do you ensure operations are unaffected by leaks, while creating a comfortable environment for patients, guests, and staff? Going one step further, how do you accomplish this within budget?

Building Envelope

Are your goals to stop recurring water infiltration or improve thermal performance to reduce energy costs? Are you happy with the way your building envelope looks?

Green Energy Procurement

Are you facing stakeholder pressures to embrace renewable energy?

Energy Choice

If some or all your portfolio is in a deregulated state, do you have favorable pricing and contract terms and conditions? Are you working with reputable suppliers or a broker that works as an extension of your team to secure the best rates, sync contract timelines?

Policy Governance

Regulations, including from the SEC, are driving increased transparency and measurement of environmental performance – do you have a plan in place?

Local Regulatory Compliance

Is your benchmarking data accurate? Are compliance deadlines approaching fast?

Facility Portfolio Decarbonization

Has your organization set targets to reduce emissions? Has that conversation included facilities operations in a meaningful way?

Smart & Connected Buildings

Do you effectively manage energy use and monitor our various energy loads to maximize control over these systems? Is your benchmarking data accurate? Do you have an energy management system? If so, is the implementation aligning to your timeline?

Renewable Energy and Carbon Offsets

Is your team prepared to manage the price risk of off-site energy purchasing to meet ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) targets?

Corporate and Project Financing

Are you interested in funding programs designed to unlock internal and external funding sources?

Sustainability Road Mapping

Have your internal teams, both corporate and operations, aligned on a cost-effective path to reducing carbon emissions and managing climate risk across your portfolio?

Utility Bill Management

Are you still managing some or all our commodity invoices manually? Are you seeing and managing your bills in aggregate to identify anomalies, benchmark your buildings and improve sustainability reporting?

That is a lot of questions, which is why having a service provider partner to not only help answer them, but put the right projects in motion, is paramount.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

A data-driven, comprehensive approach to facilities management, energy efficiency, and sustainability is prudent for healthcare organizations looking to mitigate risk, improve operational efficiencies, and align with larger corporate responsibility goals and stakeholder expectations.

By capturing and analyzing that data, you can begin to answer that lengthy list of questions and start to think about your desired outcomes such as:

  • Cost Savings
  • Better Financial Planning
  • Operational Clarity
  • Futureproofing Your Organization

Taking an Integrated Approach

An integrated approach is the most effective path forward toward these big outcomes. By looking across building systems, budgets, and teams, you can find opportunities in your data that can have a cumulative effect on your bottom line.

Your facility and energy data—along with a service provider partner with a proven record of accomplishment—can help identify which levers to pull to maximize your budget and drive sustainability success.

Energy Efficiency Projects

Identifying and implementing equipment and building management practices, which can result in up to 50% less energy use.

Facility Asset Management

Streamlining programs across your portfolio of facilities to perform the right work, at the right time to maximize asset life and minimize total cost of ownership.

On-Site Renewables

Consider solar, wind, energy storage, and distributed generation.

Leverage the Grid

Reduce emissions by taking advantage of peak shaving, load shifting, and demand management.

Off-Site Renewables

Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), green power procurement, community solar, utility scale solar or wind projects, and more.

RECs and/or Carbon Offsets

Procure high-impact measures like Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) now while planning for long-term efficiency success.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for organizations. Each one is different and requires planning tailored to every unique need, set of stakeholders, in-house teams, geography and climate, and risk tolerance.

At Mantis Innovation, our best advice is to not go it alone. Find a partner who starts by listening to your unique challenges, needs, and goals and has experience in delivering successful outcomes for similar companies.


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