How One Health Care Provider Goes the Extra Mile to Reduce Its Environmental Footprint—and What You Can Learn From These Efforts
By Lisa D. Ellis
The leadership at Kaiser Permanente recognizes the importance of not only caring for the people their health care system serves, but also of protecting the health of the communities where its members live, work, and play. That’s why, in addition to providing health and wellness services for its members, Kaiser Permanente also goes to great lengths to reduce the toll that it takes on the environment. In fact, its commitment to environmental stewardship is closely entwined with its mission to improve health, and this strategy sets an example that other organizations might incorporate to manage their own carbon footprints.
Headquartered in Oakland, California, Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest not-for-profit health care organizations in the United States. It consists of a health plan with 10 million members, 38 hospitals, and more than 600 medical offices in eight states and the District of Columbia.
Believing that by addressing climate change for the future, it is improving the health of communities today, Kaiser Permanente incorporates sustainability into its daily business practices. To encourage healthy environments, Kaiser Permanente has selected the following environmental stewardship priorities: addressing climate change through energy strategies, promoting safer chemicals in products they buy, supporting sustainable agriculture and food procurement, conserving water, and minimizing waste.