OAKLAND, Calif. — As the nation recognizes the 47th annual Earth Day on Saturday, Kaiser Permanente is proud to announce that Kaiser Permanente’s Antioch Medical Center is the first hospital in California with a fuel cell installation approved by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
The fuel cells are located outside of the hospital and provide power to the medical center without the use of combustion, reducing certain harmful pollutants and redirecting unused electricity back to the grid. The cells, which resemble large refrigerators, began providing power to the hospital earlier this month.
The fuel cells are one of a number of programs and initiatives across Northern California that Kaiser Permanente has implemented as part of its commitment to environmental stewardship including using clean, renewable energy, recycling non-hazardous waste, reducing water use, buying greener electronics and becoming carbon net positive.
“Kaiser Permanente invests in and embraces environmental stewardship as part of our mission to care for the communities we serve in technologically innovative ways,” said Donald R. Stevens, chief energy officer for Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “We are using fuel cells because they are lower-cost per kilowatt hour than buying the equivalent power from a utility company. But more importantly, they offer a cleaner operating system, emitting less than standard electrical generating facilities do.”
In the past 12 months, four Kaiser Permanente facilities at medical centers in Northern California were installed with solar panels with a capacity to generate 1.5 million kilowatt hours per year. Solar panels were installed at Kaiser Permanente parking garages in Oakland, Mission Bay in San Francisco and Martinez. Three other sites — Santa Clara, Vallejo and the Kaiser Permanente Livermore Distribution Center — also have solar panels that generate a combined 4.8 million kWh. Additional Kaiser Permanente sites in Santa Rosa are expected to have solar panels installed in the coming months.
In addition to the Antioch Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente’s medical offices in San Jose are expected to begin using fuel cell power by the end of the month. In the next several months, a data center in Napa, a laboratory in Richmond and the medical offices in San Francisco at Geary Boulevard will also be installed with fuel cells.
“By addressing environmental issues now, we are improving the health of communities now and in the future,” Stevens said. “We work with our vendor partners, architects and the industry as a whole to help ensure that the facilities we build and operate, and the products we source, are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Kaiser Permanente is strongly committed to environmental stewardship. It is a responsibility that we take very seriously as a health care provider and a community partner.”
Other environmental programs at Kaiser Permanente Northern California include:
- Cleaner anesthesia: At the Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers in Walnut Creek and Antioch, carbon emissions have been reduced by switching to a cleaner type of anesthesia gas, eliminating CO2 emissions equivalent to 308 cars on the road for one year, or powering 154 homes for one year.
- Renewable energy: Kaiser Permanente continues to invest in a variety of renewable energy sources. In 2016, 46 percent of the electricity Kaiser Permanente used in California came from renewable resources, including solar arrays and wind.
- Sustainable foods: Locally grown, sustainably farmed and processed food choices are good for the environment and for individual health. For this reason, Kaiser Permanente buys nearly 25 percent of its food sustainably, and aims to raise that number to 100 percent by 2025.
- Leading by example: Kaiser Permanente has set ambitious sustainability goals to meet by 2025, including recycling 100 percent of non-hazardous waste, reducing water use by 25 percent per square foot of building space, and becoming carbon net positive. Kaiser Permanente also recently earned the EPEAT Purchaser Award for buying greener electronics in 2016. Over its lifetime, this equipment will result in a number of environmental impact reductions including avoiding the disposal of 124 metric tons of hazardous waste — equal to the weight of 1,009 refrigerators.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 11.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.