Our green commitment
We believe that your total health includes living in a healthy environment
Clean air, pure water, and an environment free of toxins are key ingredients for keeping you and your loved ones as healthy as possible. It’s why we advocate for open spaces and natural areas in which to enjoy outdoor exercise, sunshine, and spending time in nature.
It’s all about reducing, reusing and recycling.
- Our green team works with vendors who supply our hospitals to help them find new ways of reducing packaging.
- Going all-digital in our Sunnyside radiology department is saving money and reducing harm to the environment.
- Our purchase of wind-power at Sunnyside offsets 760,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Wind power doesn’t release the health-damaging soot and mercury of electricity produced from burning coal.
- Our cafeteria purchases as much locally grown, seasonally available produce as possible. This supports local growers and burns less fuel.
Portland-area's first LEED Gold hospital
Our Westside Medical Center has received LEED Gold status for incorporating high environmental standards. It is one of fewer than four dozen hospitals in the world to achieve this certification.
Rainwater at the hospital is collected in underground tanks. Rooftop solar panels generate power to pump the stored rainwater through our irrigation system for landscaping. Building materials at Westside are free of many potentially harmful chemicals, such as dioxins, lead, cadmium and mercury. In addition to the health and environmental benefits, using less energy and water also saves money.
Kaiser Permanente spends more than $1 billion each year on medical products. The focus on greener products is just one aspect of our industry-leading work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the use of harmful chemicals and promote sustainable food choices. We're dedicated to environmental sustainability because it has direct, positive effects on individual and community health.
Which is why the organization in 2012 began purchasing IV solution bags 100 percent free of PVC and DEHP, as well as intravenous tubing that is 100 percent free of DEHP. The chemicals PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) and DEHP di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate are both widely used in medical products and have been shown to have harmful effects on health. Kaiser Permanente purchases 4.9 million IV tubing sets and 9.2 million solution bags each year. This conversion affects nearly 100 tons of medical equipment and also is expected to save close to $5 million a year.
“We at Kaiser Permanente recognize that the products we buy can have a direct effect on human health and the health of our environment,” said Raymond J. Baxter, senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. “Our efforts to remove harmful chemicals from hospitals and clinics reflect our commitment to the total health of our members and our communities.”
A long history of environmental stewardship
Through its green building efforts, Kaiser Permanente saves more than $10 million per year and has eliminated the purchase and disposal of 40 tons of harmful chemicals in its facilities. For example, the organization has worked with suppliers to virtually eliminate the use of products and equipment that contain mercury, which is a neurotoxin. Last year, the organization announced it had agreed to deploy up to 15 megawatts of solar power in a deal that has placed solar panels at Kaiser Permanente facilities across California. For more information about Kaiser Permanente’s environmental efforts, go to kp.org/green.
Deepening our roots locally
Not far from Westside hospital, we’ve worked with the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation Department and nonprofit Friends of Trees to plant trees at Hamby Park. The trees symbolize our deepening roots in Washington County while providing environmental benefits such as helping to clean air, reduce noise, and provide shade.
We also are helping mature trees. The hospital has adopted Evergreen Park in Tanasbourne neighborhood. Two times a year, our staff turns out to work with local groups to clear blackberry vines from a grove of native trees at Evergreen.