U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
A - Z Index:
Environmental Sustainability

What is IHS Doing?

Listed below are just a few of the environmental sustainability efforts and successes occurring throughout IHS.


Read IHS' Recycling Guidance document. [PDF - 1.7 MB]

IHS 2012 Sustainability Annual Progress Report [PDF - 1.6MB]

IHS 2011 Sustainability Annual Progress Report [PDF - 1.4 MB]

IHS Environmental Policy: Indian Health Manual, Chapter 13 - "Environmental Compliance, Stewardship, and Sustainability"

IHS Environmental Policy Statement

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See upcoming events at IHS on the Event Calendar and sign-up for IHS trainings at the Training Center

Organizational Environmental Management System (EMS):

Key elements of the IHS Organizational EMS include:
  • Implementing an environmental sustainability policy;
  • Establishing sustainability objectives and targets through the Department of Health and Human Services' Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan and the IHS Sustainability Implementation Plan;
  • Implementing and tracking sustainability goals through the Sustainability Advisory Board;
  • Conducting regular environmental, greenhouse gas (GHG), and sustainability audits;
  • Ensuring that all staff receive appropriate environmental training;
  • Performing an annual EMS Management Review; and
  • Communicating through the Annual Progress Report and recognition opportunities.

This Organizational EMS was endorsed by the IHS Director in an Environmental Policy Statement and the IHS Environmental Policy that is found in the Indian Health Manual.

Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB) - The SAB supports the IHS Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) with managing IHS environmental sustainability requirements and initiatives. The background, purpose, and scope of the SAB is found in the Sustainability Advisory Board Charter.

Environmental Steering Committee - The Committee utilizes staff from throughout IHS to review sustainability, environmental remediation, and demolition projects for funding. The Committee also makes available additional money and incentives to those projects emphasizing sustainable practices.

IHS Primary Care Provider - The purpose of The IHS Primary Care Provider is to facilitate communication and share timely information that is relevant to the clinical practice of Indian Health Service, tribal, and urban Indian health care professional providers. It has also published sustainability-related articles that highlight activities across the Agency.

Energy/Water and Sustainability Audits - IHS has developed a comprehensive environmental auditing process to identify and correct environment-related deficiencies. The audits started in 2010, and all facilities are planned to be audited on a five-year rolling schedule.

Sustainable Building Assessments - In October 2011, the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering (OEHE) implemented an agency-wide project to conduct comprehensive energy and water audits, GHG inventories, and installation sustainability assessments. This project will identify new opportunities and strategies that will save money and lessen the overall IHS environmental footprint.

Eagle Butte, Aberdeen AreaZoom In
Nome, Alaska AreaZoom In
San Carlos, Phoenix AreaZoom In
LEED Certification - Several IHS facility construction projects are currently aiming to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the US Green Building Council. Facility construction projects in the following locations are seeking LEED certification:
  • Kayenta, Navajo Area
  • Fort Yuma, Phoenix Area
  • San Carlos, Phoenix Area
  • Nome, Alaska Area
  • Phoenix Indian Medical Center (PIMC) Auxiliary, Phoenix Area
  • Eagle Butte, Aberdeen Area

Albuquerque Data Center Consolidation - Through inter-agency planning and cooperation, staff from the IHS Office of Information Technology (OIT) consolidated the IHS data center in Albuquerque with that of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), saving significant energy and money.

Sustainability Chapters - Office of Environmental Health and Engineering (OEHE) Technical Handbook [PDF]

IHS Architectural/Engineering (A/E) Design Guide - The A/E Design Guide [PDF] describes requirements for the design and construction of federally-funded IHS projects. The Guide was revised to incorporate building sustainability features for new and existing construction.