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Kaiser Permanente Recognized by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Commitment to Protecting Environment
Date:4/16/2009

Award Honors Environmental Leaders in Western States

OAKLAND, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Kaiser Permanente today for its commitment to environmental protection at the agency's 11th annual awards ceremony in San Francisco.

The EPA's Environmental Achievement Award program seeks to recognize individuals and organizations working in several western states to protect and preserve the environment.

"We are honored the EPA has recognized Kaiser Permanente for our efforts to create healthier communities and a healthy environment," said Raymond J. Baxter, Ph.D., senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. "We believe that good corporate citizenship starts with a strong focus on environmental stewardship. And we are dedicated to sustainability and social equity, as we believe these have direct, positive effects on individual and community health."

As a global leader in sustainability, Kaiser Permanente is:

  • Promoting walking and biking - Kaiser Permanente's Community Health Initiatives build parks and bike paths to promote physical activity and reduce air pollution.
  • Hosting farmers' markets - To reduce car trips to shops and increase access to locally grown produce, Kaiser Permanente hosts 30 farmers' markets at its facilities in six states.
  • Opening environmentally friendly hospitals - Kaiser Permanente opened a medical center in Modesto, Calif. in 2008, featuring solar panels, energy-conserving technology, permeable pavement, and safer materials. The hospital's electronic health record system, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect(TM) reduces the need for paper records.
  • Conserving water - Between 2006 and 2008, Kaiser Permanente's California hospitals used an average of 107,143 gallons of water per bed per year, which is 20 percent less than the average hospital consumption in California and 40 percent less than the average hospital consumption nationally. Kaiser Permanente improved its water efficiency by converting to digital imaging machines, each of which saves approximately 925,000 gallons of potable water per year while eliminating the use of harmful chemicals.
  • Purchasing energy-efficient equipment - In 2008, all laptop and desktop computers and monitors newly deployed throughout Kaiser Permanente received at least a silver rating by the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool.
  • Recycling electronics responsibly - Through a partnership with Redemtech, Kaiser Permanente either resold or recycled 74,000 pieces of Kaiser Permanente's electronic equipment in 2008.
  • Supporting the Global Health and Safety Initiative (http://www.globalhealthsafety.org/), a group that seeks to unite the health care sector to advance worker and patient safety and environmental sustainability.

The EPA "Region 9" Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Forty groups and individuals were selected from more than 200 nominees received this year from businesses, local government officials, tribes, media, environmental organizations and citizen activists.

"It is a great pleasure and honor that we can recognize the innovative and important environmental work achieved by this year's impressive group of organizations and individuals, and the example they set for all of us to follow," said Laura Yoshii, the U.S. EPA's acting administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "This year's winners and nominees have made superb efforts to protect and preserve our air, water and land, and increased awareness of the environmental challenges we all face."

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is shaping the future of health care. We are America's leading health care provider and not-for-profit health plan. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to www.kp.org/newscenter.

www.kaiserpermanente.org


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