ABSTRACT Objectives: to verify the correlation between the characteristics of professionals and the practice of sustainable actions in the medication processes in an ICU, and to determine if interventions such as training and awareness can promote sustainable practices performed by nursing staff in the hospital. Methods: before-and-after design study using Lean Six Sigma methodology, applied in an intensive care unit. Nursing staff were observed regarding the practice of ecologically sustainable actions during medication processes (n = 324 cases for each group (pre and post-intervention)) through a data collection instrument. The processes analyzed involved 99 professionals in the pre-intervention phase and 97 in the post-intervention phase. Data were analyzed quantitatively and the association of variables was accomplished by means of statistical inference, according to the nature of the related variables. Results: the education level was the only characteristic that showed to be relevant to an increase in sustainable practices, with a statistically significant difference (p = 0.002). When comparing before and after the intervention, there was an increase in environmentally friendly actions with statistically significant differences (p = 0.001). Conclusions: the results suggest that institutions should encourage and invest in formal education, as well as training of health professionals to promote sustainable practices in the hospital.