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Kaiser Permanente Requiring Suppliers to Provide Environmental Information

Kaiser Permanente will now require suppliers to provide environmental data for $1 billion worth of medical equipment and products used in its hospitals, medical offices and other facilities.

The Sustainability Scorecard is the first of its kind in health care. It will allow Kaiser Permanente to evaluate the sustainability of each medical item it purchases while also encouraging suppliers across the industry to provide greener products for the health care sector. Addressing concerns about products and materials commonly used throughout health care will help create a healthier environment for Kaiser Permanente’s patients, employees and physicians.

“Kaiser Permanente recognizes we can improve health today and for the future by taking a close look at the products we purchase,” said Dean Edwards, vice president and chief procurement officer. “With Kaiser Permanente’s size and influence, the work we’re doing is continuing to move the industry.”

Kaiser Permanente spends more than $1 billion each year on medical products. By September this year, when Kaiser Permanente’s key supply chain partner, Broadlane, adopts the tool, the scorecard could influence $10 billion in medical purchasing. Kaiser Permanente’s current environmental policies already provide environmental guidelines for products ranging from greener cleaning chemicals to IV tubing free of potentially harmful chemicals. The Sustainability Scorecard goes further by requiring suppliers to provide information on their company’s environmental commitment, use of potentially harmful chemicals in their products and information about product and packaging recycling.

“Kaiser Permanente is continually working to find environmentally friendly products, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and inform public policy to protect the health and safety of our workforce and members alike,” said Kathy Gerwig, Kaiser Permanente’s vice president for workplace safety and environmental stewardship officer. “With our Sustainability Scorecard, we are strengthening the link between sustainability and health.”


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