Kaiser Permanente asks suppliers for sustainability credentials

Care provider will ask all technology and product suppliers to supply environmental data
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

All the healthcare industry hoopla will doubtless force insurance companies and medical service providers to look for ways to differentiate themselves in the future, and Kaiser Permanente is already putting a very obvious stake in the ground -- it wants to be a leader in sustainability practices.

This week, the healthcare provider said it will create a Sustainability Scorecard that will be used to govern all the medical technology and supplies that it buys -- to the tune of more than $1 billion in medical product purchasing every year. The tool will be used by Kaiser Permanente's supply chain and procurement partner, Broadlane.

Suppliers will be asked to provide information about their corporate environmental commitment, the chemicals used in their products, and how they recycle products and packaging.

Here's some of the company's rationale for this move, which comes from the company's vice president and chief procurement officer, Dean Edwards:

"Kaiser Permanente recognizes we can improve health today and for the future by taking a close look at the products we purchase. With Kaiser Permanente's size and influence, the work we're doing is continuing to move the industry."

Kaiser Permanent's system spans nine states and the District of Columbia; it has roughly 8.6 million members. In case you haven't been following them, the company has been investing steadily in renewable energy technology, especially solar.

Seems to me that healthcare providers need to build as much goodwill as they can with their "customers." Kaiser Permanente stands out for the statements it is making about corporate sustainability.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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