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Practice Greenhealth Launches Greening the Supply Chain Initiative

Practice Greenhealth has announced the formation of the Greening the Supply Chain™ Initiative. The Initiative extends Practice Greenhealth’s leadership role in supporting hospitals by engaging businesses in meeting the emerging demand for more environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) practices for products within health care facilities, GPOs and in the business marketplace. These businesses are coming together with those in the health care sector to address all those elements that are essential to producing environmentally preferable products and processes.

The comprehensive Greening the Supply Chain™ Initiative is being launched in order to provide a common set of tools for purchasers, suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that environmentally preferable products are indeed available, cost competitive, of comparable quality, and generate a sector wide market shift in the direction of sound EPP practices.

The Greening the Supply Chain™ Initiative encompasses:

  • Practice Greenhealth’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing  Supporter Program, a collaborative effort between GPOs and Practice Greenhealth to bring greater environmental consciousness to the purchasing process;
  • Development of Standardized Environmental Disclosure Questions for Medical Products, based on the Kaiser Permanente Sustainability Scorecard, to create an industry standard for evaluating the sustainability of medical products;
  • Establishment of the EPP Business Leadership Coalition, designed to provide broader, shared involvement on the part of hospitals, GPOs and businesses;
  • Practice Greenhealth’s EPP Partnership Program, a collaborative relationship between Practice Greenhealth and hospitals that mirrors the work of the Supporter Program;
  • Expansion of education and training opportunities for those involved in the EPP process. Each element of the Practice Greenhealth Greening the Supply Chain™ Initiative brings with it a wealth of resources and materials designed to educate, inform and generally assist those entities involved in greening the supply chain in the health care sector.

Practice Greenhealth suggests that the proposed Greening the Supply Chain™ Initiative will provide additional leverage in the manufacture and production of environmentally preferable products through the development of relationships that go beyond the health care supply chain and include a thorough analysis of the supply chains of vendors.

"Health care systems are now leading the way in making environmental sustainability issues key criteria for purchasing decisions, alongside clinical outcome, quality and cost,” said David Hearn, Kaiser Permanente’s vice president for IT and Facilities Procurement.  "Kaiser Permanente has made significant progress toward reducing waste, removing harmful chemicals from operations and conserving energy. We look forward to working with Practice Greenhealth and the larger health care community to collaboratively green the supply chain in meaningful ways."

“Many products used in health care environments have environmentally preferable alternatives that may reduce health impacts to patients and staff, eliminate hazardous waste disposal, save energy and water, or reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from a facility,” said Anna Gilmore Hall, Executive Director of Practice Greenhealth. “Greening the supply chain is an essential element for any health care facility embarking on a journey toward sustainable health care. Purchasing products and services with a reduced impact on human health and the environment takes into account one or more environmental attributes in products and services and applies them in the supply chain process.”

To learn more about the Greening the Supply Chain™ initiative visit: www.practicegreenhealth.org/gsc

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