At Kaiser Permanente, we believe it is our obligation as a health care provider to minimize our environmental impact. We work to be environmentally responsible throughout our organization — in how we power our facilities, purchase food and medical supplies and equipment, manage waste, and invest in our communities. We also prioritize partnerships with others to develop policies and systems that strengthen community health and protect our environment.
We know one way to improve the health of the more than 68 million people who live in the communities we serve is by improving their environmental conditions. Through innovations in energy use, construction and building strategies, supply chain, food systems, finance, and clinical practice that promote community health, we are leading the health care sector in reducing environmental contributors to disease and illness.
Our actions revolve around doing our part to improve the conditions caused by climate change that lead to poor health. For example, severe weather events and wildfires may trigger respiratory ailments such as asthma, heat-related illnesses, physical and psychological injuries, and increased rates of infectious disease spread.
We have taken a leading role in supporting the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Decarbonizing the U.S. Health Sector (Climate Collaborative), a public-private partnership of health leaders committed to addressing the environmental impact of our health system while strengthening its sustainability and resilience. We also work closely with nonprofits, including Health Care Without Harm, that advocate for environmental stewardship in the health care industry. And, we previously joined RE100, the California Health Care Climate Alliance, Ceres’ Connect the Drops, and other climate leadership initiatives.
In 2016, we adopted an ambitious set of environmental goals to guide the organization for the decade ahead. These goals have raised the bar on environmental responsibility, not just for us but for all health care organizations.
In 2020, we achieved carbon neutral status.
To share lessons from our journey to carbon neutrality with other health care institutions, we worked with Health Care Without Harm to create “The Path to Carbon Neutral Guide.”