Great Lakes region

Virtual cohort group


Hospital and health system sustainability professionals from across the upper Midwest (primarily IL, IN MI, MN, OH, WI) share region-specific experiences and tips where climate, natural resources, and auto and agriculture industries may present barriers and opportunities to innovation and impact.

Target audience: Sustainability leads and other personnel located in the Great Lakes region mentioned above

Level: All (Beginners to advanced)


Matthew Pietro Facilitator:
Matthew Pietro

“I really enjoyed the personal connection between cohort peers, a lot of the time my sustainability job is a lonely one.” 
– Cohort participant

A dozen hospitals from across the Great Lakes region meet quarterly to grow their network. Below are some of the facilities represented in the cohort:

  • Advocate Aurora Health
  • Allina Health System
  • Aspirus 
  • HealthPartners
  • IU Health
  • Mayo Clinic Health System
  • Michigan Medicine
  • Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • OSF Healthcare 
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • Spectrum Health
  • SSM Health 
  • UW (University of Wisconsin) Health


2023 Schedule

February 24, 2023 11:00 AM EST

Topic: Great Lakes partner trends: A look at region-specific performance based on 2022 Environmental Excellence Awards benchmarking data

Discussion questions:

  1. Where are Great Lakes partners performing well or struggling, and is this consistent with your hospital/system? 
  2. What are the most important or impactful areas to focus on in 2023 to drive better outcomes?  
  3. How do these trends align with your strategic sustainability goals for 2023 and beyond?
May 5, 2023 11:00 AM EST 

Topic: Path to Decarbonization in the Great Lakes: A discussion of greenhouse gas accounting 

Discussion questions:

  1. How are you capturing, or planning to capture, Scope 3 emissions data?  Have you engaged the right stakeholders?
  2. What are your limitations, in terms of resources or support, in conducting greenhouse gas accounting efforts? 
  3. What can you do in-house to gather and manage data?  What do you need to hire out?
August 4, 2023 11:00 AM EST 

Topic: Regional strategies for sustainable food services

Discussion questions:

  1. How have you worked with your food provider to source locally?  
  2. Which food items are most plentiful and cost-effective in the Great Lakes? 
  3. What do local suppliers need to do to increase sourcing from them? How have you or your food supplier worked with them to understand barriers and opportunities for business? 
  4. Where have you found success in providing plant-forward dishes? 
  5. What innovative food service strategies have you deployed to support your sustainability goals? 
  6. Do you make efforts to provide food items that reflect the cultures of your communities?
November 3, 2023 11:00 AM EST

Topic: Waste around the region: Learning from each other to eliminate waste in our hospitals  

Discussion questions:

  1. Where are your greatest waste stream pain points? 
  2. What are your most cost-effective solutions to minimize waste? 
  3. What are your most impactful strategies to engage employees in good waste segregation and minimization practices?
  4. What local or regional solutions have you discovered that could be utilized by other Great Lakes hospitals?

Ready to get started? Register today.

Sessions take place on a recurring basis using Zoom as the meeting platform. To join this cohort or any of the other cohorts, please click the button below. If you have discussion topic ideas or want to invite a peer, please contact the cohort facilitator.

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