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Kaiser Permanente Joins With Top Health Care Groups to Create Healthier Hospital Environments
Date:10/18/2007

Oakland Event Kicks Off Sector-Wide Initiative

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente, a leader in green building and environmentally responsible purchasing, has partnered with a group of influential health care organizations to help spread green practices across the industry.

As a founding member of the Global Health and Safety Initiative, Kaiser Permanente aims to share best practices and help to broaden the market for cleaner energy, safer products and innovative environmental technologies.

"If we collaborate, we can create leverage in the marketplace for safer and healthier practices that protect patients and staff while reducing our overall environmental footprint," said George C. Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. "Our hope is that through the Global Health and Safety Initiative, many more leaders in the health care sector will realize that being green is a team sport."

Health care is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the economy, representing more than 15 percent of the nation's gross national product. Health care facilities in the United States generate 2 million tons of waste per year that pose occupational and environmental threats. In addition, health care accounts for 11 percent of all commercial energy use in America and is a major water consumer.

Kaiser Permanente has broad experience with green building, environmentally responsible purchasing and sustainable operations. Over the past five years, for example, Kaiser Permanente has chosen ecologically sustainable materials for 29 million square feet in new construction, prevented the release of 70 billion pounds of air pollutants annually and saved more than $10 million per year through energy conservation strategies.

Global Health and Safety Initiative partners include the nonprofit groups Health Care Without Harm, the Center for Health Design, and
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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