Medical Center is among 29 Kaiser Permanente facilities around the country honored by the Practice Greenhealth organization
ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente’s Roseville Medical Center is one of only three facilities around the country named to the “Environmental Leadership Circle” this year by Practice Greenhealth, a national organization that promotes green practices, construction and resource conservation in health care. The leadership circle is the highest honor among the group’s 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards.
To qualify for this honor, health facilities must meet a series of benchmarks, including a waste-recycling rate of at least 25 percent, an 8 percent or lower rate for generation of regulated medical waste, and complete eradication of mercury use.
“Our mission at Kaiser Permanente is to improve the health of our members and communities we serve,” said Ed Glavis, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in Roseville. “Recycling, energy conservation and other green practices are keys to achieving that mission, and this award is confirmation that our hard work is making a difference.”
In all, 29 Kaiser Permanente facilities around the country — including 15 in Northern California — were cited by Practice Greenhealth in this year’s awards. The Santa Clara Medical Center was cited as a “Partner for Change with Distinction.” Medical centers in Antioch, Fremont, Sacramento, San Jose, San Rafael, South Sacramento, South San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Vallejo were cited as “Partners for Change.” Four facilities were given “Partner Recognition,” meaning they have begun an environmental-stewardship program and achieved at least a 10 percent recycling rate for solid waste. These were the Hayward Medical Center, Folsom Medical Offices, Folsom Ambulatory Surgery Center, and the Eye Surgery Center in Rancho Cordova.
All of the awards presented to Kaiser Permanente are a reflection of the environmental-stewardship efforts the organization is making system-wide. Kaiser Permanente is a health care leader nationally in saving energy, purchasing safer materials, sourcing sustainable food and reducing waste. For example, the organization has committed to aggressive targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through on-site renewable energy use and energy conservation measures; providing sustainable food in its patient meals; safe recycling of single-use medical devices to eliminate waste; and eliminating toxins such as DEHP and PVC from many of its medical supplies.
The Roseville Medical Center has set a goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 30 percent by 2020. To do that, the facility has adopted a cogeneration power-production plan that will produce electricity and hot water on-site, upgraded all exterior lighting, and standardized procedures throughout the facility to increase solid-waste recycling and reduce water and power consumption.
“We established programs years ago to help us create a more sustainable environment, and as we go forward we will continue to build on the work we have done to create a healthier community,” said Tom Jones, manager for Environmental Health and Safety at Kaiser Permanente Roseville.
As a result of these and other efforts, water use at the medical center has been reduced and new efforts are underway to reduce use by 15.1 million gallons a year, total recycling of solid waste is now 542 tons a year, disposal of chemical waste has been reduced 20 percent, and 15,800 pounds of hypodermic needles and other sharps used by consumers in their homes have been removed from the community through a free drop-off program.
Practice Greenhealth is non-profit membership organization founded in 1998 to support environmental stewardship and help develop best practices in the health-care community. The organization believes that sustainable health care is good for the environment, good for patients and staff, and good for the bottom line. Its goals include eliminating mercury use, reducing and recycling solid waste, reducing regulated and chemical waste, reducing energy and water consumption, and establishing green purchasing policies.