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Kaiser Permanente Targets 30% GHG Cut by 2020

Health care provider Kaiser Permanente has pledged to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020, compared to its 2008 levels.

Kaiser produced about 819,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2008, and total emissions increased to 837,000 metric tons in 2010, the last reported year. By investing in clean and renewable energy sources, while also targeting energy conservation measures, Kaiser aims to reduce its current rate of annual emissions by about 264,000 metric tons by 2020.

Health care activities as a whole contribute eight percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in the U.S., Kaiser says.

As a way of helping reduce its carbon footprint, the health and insurance company purchased Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Credits that avoided an estimated 12,700 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2011. Kaiser plans to purchase RECs that match 100 percent of its expected annual electricity use in Maryland and Washington, D.C., for two years starting in 2012.

The company is also currently generating 2 MW of power on-site at several medical centers using cogeneration technology, and investing $2.4 million in new lights and window-film installations that are expected to save roughly $1 million each year in energy costs.

In January, Kaiser announced that it is converting its intravenous medical equipment to alternatives free of PVC and DEHP, two industrial chemicals that the company says have been shown to harm human and environmental health.

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