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EPP means purchasing products and services with a reduced impact on the environment as well as on public health. Using products and services with a reduced impact will help address the fact healthcare has a large environmental footprint. Healthcare uses $8.3 billion on energy each year, is often the largest water user in the community, and generates over 2.7 million tons of waste per year. Yet healthcare holds tremendous purchasing power – with spending at 16% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and rising – which can move the market and can drive manufacturers to offer products and services that protect public health and the environment. We’ve seen this occur in the marketplace with increased demand, for example, for mercury-free devices, safer cleaning products, and products without specific plasticizers used to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

This webinar will introduce participants to the basics of EPP and steps your organization can take to implement an effective program. Addressing potential environmental problems and costs before products and services come in the door can save money and headaches later on. Learn the benefits of EPP, and how you can incorporate EPP into the RFP process. We will explain how to know when a product or service is “green” and what products are considered “low hanging fruit.” Participants will receive the “10-Step Guide to Environmentally Preferable Purchasing” and hear about other available resources. Find out how EPP can be successful and cost effective in your facility and what steps you can take to implement a program.


  • Learn the cost benefits of an Environmental Purchasing Program.
  • Understand what makes a product or service truly “green.”
  • Know at least three products you can purchase now which will cost less or be cost-neutral compared to alternatives.
  • Learn how two health care organizations have developed successful EPP programs and what it took to get there.


Beth Eckl, Practice Greenhealth
Telephone: 866-598-2240
Beth Eckl is Director of the Environmental Purchasing Program for Practice Greenhealth providing technical support, consulting services and training on environmental purchasing for health systems, healthcare facilities and group purchasing organizations. These services offer members a variety of options, from technical environmental considerations for contracts, strategic goals and policies development, to on-site trainings for hospital and purchasing staff. Beth brings over ten years of environmental purchasing consulting experience as Principle of EPE Consulting where she organized environmental purchasing policies and programs for municipalities and businesses. She has worked closely with purchasing stakeholders to modify contract specifications for products and services. Beth has provided dozens of training seminars to businesses and trade associations. Beth’s experience includes being a Manager of waste reduction, recycling and environmental purchasing for all County facilities, including hospitals, under authority of the Alameda County General Services Agency (Oakland, CA) where she was based in the Purchasing Department.

Kai Abelkis, Boulder Community Hospital
Kai Abelkis has been Boulder Community Hospital’s Sustainability Coordinator since 1999. To minimize the hospital’s environmental footprint, Kai is responsible for reducing waste, conserving energy, promoting alternative transportation, utilizing alternative energy sources, conserving water, integrating environmental preferable purchasing, green building practices eliminating latex and PVC from the product line and educating staff. Their Foothills hospital was the first LEED certified medical facility in the world. BCH is part of a growing choir of medical institutions who recognize that the health of our environment is directly connected to the health of our community. Kai has been recognized around the world as a leading voice in the efforts to create a more sustainable industry. He sits on Colorado’s Pollution Advisory Committee, City of Boulder’s Climate Advisory Group, and a Board member of the Boulder East Transportation Management Organization. Kai has worked with Novation and medical manufacturers on implementing sustainable practices. He is currently working with University of Nebraska, University of Maryland, Calgary Health, and Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula and others on their sustainability efforts.

Rachael Baker, Kaiser Permanente
Rachael Baker is the Environmental Supply Chain Manager at Kaiser Permanente where she is responsible for the national Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) program. Rachael works within the enterprise’s procurement and supply chain organization to imbed critical environmental criteria into the procurement process with the goal to reduce the use and degradation of natural resources and minimize patient and worker exposure to harmful substances. The program utilizes a variety of sourcing strategies, business forums and disclosure mechanisms to uncover opportunities that benefit our environment, our community, and our bottom line. In 2009, the EPP program delivered $20 Million in annual savings, over 22 million Kwh of energy conserved, 30 tons of plastic waste eliminated, and substantial reductions in consumption of hazardous metals and toxic chemicals. Rachael has worked to improve environmental stewardship of the healthcare field for the past seven years focusing on operations, healthy food, green building, and procurement. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Policy from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy in N.Y. and is LEED Accredited Professional from the U.S. Green Building Council. She lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and daughter.

Webinar speakers have no financial or other interest in the sponsoring company and the sponsor has had no input into the content of the presentation.

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