Improving Health

Our Sustainable Procurement Program utilizes a variety of sourcing strategies, business forums, and disclosure mechanisms to identify and leverage opportunities throughout our supply chain to reduce healthcare’s impact on both human health and the environment, while striving to improve the health of our members, our employees, and the communities we serve.

Sustainable procurement looks at the health, social, and economic aspects of purchasing decisions, which allows us to meet the need for goods and services while both generating benefits for the organization, society, and the economy and minimizing damage to health and the environment. Procurement decisions are made by looking at the entire lifecycle cost of a product, from creation to disposal, in order to achieve economic and environmental value.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Initiative

Introduction to EPP

The Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Initiative within Kaiser Permanente is just one of the many ways that we seek to promote positive environmental, human, and societal health outcomes for the communities in which we live, work, and serve.

EPP is the purchase of products and services that have been confirmed to be less damaging to the environment and to human health when compared to competing products and services.  The success of this initiative is dependent on collaboration between Impact Spending, sourcing, our GPO Vizient, our suppliers, external business forums, and other internal Kaiser Permanente stakeholders.

This initiative has delivered countless positive environmental impacts over the year (e.g., latex-free exam gloves and PVC-free carpeting) and has been honored with a variety of industry awards.

EPP Principles

In support of Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve, Kaiser Permanente is committed to applying EPP guidelines and specifications to all major, strategic, and critical purchasing decisions.

Kaiser Permanente’s EPP Principles went into effect in May 2006, and mandate that a variety of specific environmental criteria—aligned with our commitments to promote cleaner energy, safer chemicals, natural resource conservation and waste reduction, and sustainable food—be considered in purchasing decisions, in addition to product performance and cost effectiveness. Specific criteria and other guidelines can be found in the EPP Principles document.

EPP Standards

As an extension of the EPP Principles, Kaiser Permanente requires its current and prospective suppliers of products to comply with the Kaiser Permanente EPP Standard, which went into effect in February 2017.  The standard mandates specific environmental criteria to be met in the areas of chemicals of concern and waste, in addition to other purchasing criteria.  These criteria were developed in conjunction with Practice Greenhealth, Healthcare Without Harm, Clean Production Action, and other industry professionals.

Specific details about the criteria can be found in the EPP Standard document. Standards for furniture and fabrics can be found in the Furniture & Fabrics EPP Standard document and additional guidance for carpets can be found in the Health Care Without Harm website.

More Green Initiatives

For more on our Environmental Stewardship policies and initiatives, please visit Kaiser Permanente’s Environmental stewardship site.

External Groups

Kaiser Permanente is an industry leader in promoting sustainability in the health care sector. We share experiences and practices and seek learnings to improve our industry’s environmental performance in our industry.

We also work to increase public awareness and promote public dialogue that recognizes the importance and effect of environmental stewardship as a component of healthy communities. We are a founding member of the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.