Advancing environmental and human health requires a commitment to partnership and collaboration. It requires that hospitals and health care systems work together using a coordinated approach to achieving sustainability, one which can prevent environment-related illness, create environmental benefits and save billions of dollars in health care expenses.
Today’s environmental challenges also require that health care organizations reach beyond the health care sector to engage stakeholders in finance, business, energy, conservation, education and public policy. Only through this kind of collaboration can we hope to renew and revitalize our communities to the fullest extent possible.
Our 2025 goal: We will pursue new collaborations to reduce environmental risks to foodsheds, watersheds and air basins supplying our communities.
Kaiser Permanente believes in sharing our experiences and practices with others to improve environmental performance. We work to increase public awareness and promote dialogue that recognizes the importance of environmental stewardship as a component of healthy communities. Together with other hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, business and non-profit environmental organizations, we are working to transform the marketplace ecosystem so that it is ecologically sustainable and supportive of public health and the environment.
The organizations below illustrate just some of the collaborations we have engaged in to date.
The Alliance for Climate Education educates young people on the science of climate change and empowers them to take action. Through their multimedia assemblies, education and leadership empowerment efforts, ACE works to shift the national discourse on climate action in ways that can influence public opinion and affect policy change. Kaiser Permanente supports the Alliance for Climate through a charitable grant to the East Bay Community Foundation.
The Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) is a membership organization for leaders in industry, government, academia and the non-profit community who work together to build the capacity of their enterprises to take action on climate change. Kaiser Permanente is a member of ACCO and uses it as a forum to both share its best practices and learn from others.
BizNGO is a collaboration of business and environmental leaders working to advance safer chemicals and sustainable materials, thereby creating market transitions to a healthy economy, healthy environment, and healthy people. Kaiser Permanente partners with BizNGO to meet our Environmentally Preferable Purchasing goals with particular attention to “greening” the chemical components of products we buy.
The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is among a handful of schools in the United States that integrate science, management, law, economics and policy as part of an interdisciplinary approach to environmental problem-solving. Kaiser Permanente participates in the Bren School’s Corporate and Foundation Partners Program and collaborates with Bren graduate students on important environmental projects. For example, in 2014 and 2015, Kaiser Permanente worked with Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) and Bren School students to build a framework for water risk analysis that can inform supply chain decisions at Lilly.
The Business Renewables Center (BRC) is a member-based platform that streamlines and accelerates corporate purchasing of off-site, large-scale wind and solar energy. It is an initiative of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a non-partisan nonprofit that advances market-based solutions and engages businesses, communities and institutions to cost-effectively shift to efficiency and renewables. Kaiser Permanente is a member of the BRC and received great support from BRC leaders during the development of our 2015 off-site renewable energy deal.
The Center for Environmental Health works to protect people from toxic chemicals and promotes business products and practices that are safe for public health and the environment. CEH works at the intersection of industries, laws, governments, communities, and consumers to eliminate toxins through public interest litigation, community health programs, public policy measures and the cleaning and greening of the electronics and food production industries. Kaiser Permanente has collaborated extensively with CEH on environmentally safer electronics, purchasing protocols, sustainable food and community educational events to reduce toxins in products.
Climate Corps Bay Area is a 10-month fellowship program that provides professional development opportunities for emerging climate protection leaders through climate change resiliency projects with local governments, non-profits and for-profit businesses. Kaiser Permanente has benefited greatly from the expertise of Climate Corps Bay Area fellows.
Community Commons provides public access to a variety of data mapping tools and reporting capabilities to explore and improve community health. Kaiser Permanente uses customized data and reports provided by Community Commons to conduct community health needs assessments in our communities.
Kaiser Permanente has joined with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to encourage Americans to save energy, save money, and help prevent climate change. Take the ENERGY STAR pledge and share your energy saving story to inspire others to take action.
The Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) is an invitation-only membership organization for large companies that demonstrate a serious commitment to environment as a business strategy issue. CEF’s mission is to help accelerate sustainable business innovation by creating the best neutral space for business leaders to strategize and exchange best-practice insights.
ecoAmerica works with people and their core values to empower greater effectiveness in the way Americans’ are engaged in climate solutions. The organization researches which sectors of the population are ready to move on key sustainability issues and catalyzing them for action. Kaiser Permanente is a member of the Climate for Health coalition, one of ecoAmerica’s initiatives aimed at bringing together leaders in health who are working on climate solutions.
The EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager is an interactive energy management tool that allows businesses and organizations to track and assess energy and water consumption across their entire portfolio of buildings in an online environment. Kaiser Permanente uses Portfolio Manager to help set investment priorities, identify under-performing buildings, verify efficiency improvements, and receive EPA recognition for superior energy performance.
Goodwill Industries helps people earn a living, improve their lives, and strengthen their families and their communities by offering customized job training, employment placement, and other services to people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges. Kaiser Permanente regularly partners with Goodwill Industries in Southern California to recycle or dispose of e-waste, a partnership that not only helps Kaiser Permanente reduce its carbon footprint but also provides jobs for disabled persons and communities in need.
Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups. The organization we are works to implement ecologically sound and healthy alternatives to health care practices that pollute the environment and contribute to disease. As a member of Health Care Without Harm, Kaiser Permanente has made an organizational commitment to the mission and goals of the campaign, and a desire to participate fully in helping to achieve them.
MedShare is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare and the environment through the efficient recovery and redistribution of the surplus of medical supplies and equipment to those most in need. MedShare collects surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, distributors and manufacturers, and then redistributes it to qualified healthcare facilities in the developing world. They also partner with groups such as Operation USA to outfit medical missions and safety net clinics in both the U.S. and abroad. Kaiser Permanente is pleased to support the mission of these organizations by sending them surplus medical supplies and equipment.
Practice Greenhealth is the source for environmental solutions for the healthcare sector and lends support to create better, safer, greener workplaces and communities. As a nonprofit membership organization, they are founded on the principles of positive environmental stewardship and best practices by organizations in the healthcare community. Kaiser Permanente is a strategic partner and member of this organization, helping to share our practices in greening the health care sector with other hospital systems and non-profit organizations.
SmartWay Transport is the US Environmental Protection Agency’s flagship program for improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution from the transportation supply chain industry. Kaiser Permanente is proud to partner with SmartWay as we continually seek improve fuel efficiency, increase environmental performance, and encourage supply chain sustainability.
The Climate Registry is a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories, and Native Sovereign Nations that sets consistent and transparent standards to calculate, verify, and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions into a single registry. Kaiser Permanente is proud of its commitment to measure, verify and publicly report its greenhouse gas emissions based upon the reporting protocol of The Climate Registry.
The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to transforming the way our buildings are designed, constructed and operated through LEED — the top third-party verification system for sustainable structures around the world. Kaiser Permanente works closely with the USGBC to support LEED construction of its hospitals and medical office buildings and employs USGBC principles in its building operations.