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Background for Standardized Environmental Questions

Practice Greenhealth has been providing consulting assistance to five of the largest Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) through the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Supporter Program for several years. As such, we were afforded the opportunity to assess environmental questions commonly asked by our EPP Supporters at the boilerplate level and share the information in the aggregate. The results of that assessment showed that all five of the GPOs have been asking many of the same questions, and nearly identical questions for more than ten environmental attributes. This information, along with the release of the Kaiser Sustainability Scorecard Gen II which also had overlap with the GPO questions, helped demonstrate the viability of creating a common set of environmental questions for medical products.

Stakeholders

The core stakeholders are Practice Greenhealth’s EPP Supporters, five of the largest GPOs. Their role is to review, adopt, and make final determination on the EPP standardized questions that have been vetted through a consensus-based and transparent process. Practice Greenhealth will manage the process working through the EPP Supporter Program.

Alliances and Synergies

Practice Greenhealth will continue to work closely with many organizations to stay abreast of, and knowledgeable about, emerging issues and trends relevant to health care including emerging science, chemical and material policies, sustainability initiatives, and product innovations. We intend to use the work of a range of non-profit, government and trade associations to stay abreast of emerging issues and to inform our process.

Advisory Groups

A significant part of Greening the Supply Chain™ Initiative is working with a network of advisory members who have made a commitment to this initiative.

Hospitals and Health Care Systems

Among the advisory groups will be select hospitals and health care systems that are members of Practice Greenhealth or are participating in the Healthier Hospital Initiative (HHI). They will be selected based on their leadership role in sustainable health care and represent a cross section of members from each of the Stakeholders. This group’s role will be to represent supply chain at the hospital and system level, provide input on the process and needs to procure EPP products, provide comment on disclosure questions, sign on as endorsers to show support, and promote them to other systems and hospitals.

EPP Business Leadership Coalition

Another group of advisory members will be the supplier community through the EPP Business Leadership Coalition. The EPP Business Leadership Coalition’s mission is to work diligently and cooperatively to build products and processes that are environmentally preferable and meet the environmental and human health needs of customers in the health care sector. The role of this group will be to inform and provide comment on tools and resources, including the Environmental Questions. While they will have no voting authority or decision making power, they will be part of the dialogue and discussions in developing and responding to tools and resources.

Others

We have consulted with government agencies, academia and others involved in the health care sector to inform our work.

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