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Health Industry Group Launches Green Purchasing Program

The health industry is launching a common set of tools to ensure that environmentally preferred products are available and cost-competitive.

The tools for purchasers, suppliers and manufacturers are part of the Greening the Supply Chain initiative, launched by industry sustainability association Practice Greenhealth. The group says the program should provoke a sector-wide market shift towards environmentally sound procurement.

Elements of the initiative include

  • The Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Supporter Program, a collaborative effort between Practice Greenhealth and group purchasing organizations (GPOs), to bring greater environmental consciousness to the purchasing process;
  • Development of standardized environmental disclosure questions for medical products, based on the Kaiser Permanente Sustainability Scorecard, to create an industry standard for evaluating the sustainability of medical products;
  • Establishment of the EPP Business Leadership Coalition, designed to provide broader, shared involvement on the part of hospitals, GPOs and businesses;
  • The EPP Partnership Program, a collaborative relationship between Practice Greenhealth and hospitals that mirrors the work of the Supporter Program;
  • Expansion of education and training opportunities for those involved in the EPP process.

“Many products used in health care environments have environmentally preferable alternatives that may reduce health impacts to patients and staff, eliminate hazardous waste disposal, save energy and water, or reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from a facility,” said Anna Gilmore Hall, executive director of Practice Greenhealth.

“Purchasing products and services with a reduced impact on human health and the environment takes into account one or more environmental attributes in products and services and applies them in the supply chain process,” Hall added.

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