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Novation Champions Reusable Packaging for Sustainability in Healthcare
Date:10/31/2012

IRVING, Texas, Oct. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Novation, the leading health care supply chain expertise and contracting company for the members of VHA Inc., UHC, Children's Hospital Association and Provista LLC, is proud to announce that it is working with healthcare sustainability leaders to reduce excess packaging and cardboard in America's hospitals. The effort focuses on replacing limited-life transport packaging materials—such as cardboard boxes, wood pallets and plastic film—with durable, reusable alternatives. To help its members with this transition, Novation is working closely with Practice Greenhealth and the Use Reusables campaign (www.UseReusables.com), a joint project of public agency StopWaste.Org and the Reusable Packaging Association (Reusables.org), with financial support from U.S. EPA's Climate Showcase Community program.

Novation's goals with this initiative include: 

  1. helping hospitals implement and sustain reusable transport packaging alternatives in both distributed and direct-from-supplier supplies, where feasible;
  2. helping hospitals identify and overcome common roadblocks with suppliers in their effort to introduce reusables;
  3. developing a toolkit for use by all hospitals interested in implementing reusable transport packaging with their distributors and suppliers; and
  4. bringing awareness to the benefits and applicability of reusable transport packaging opportunities.

"We have launched pilot programs with several hospital members we serve, and are optimistic that we will see adoption and success," said Jennifer Waddell, RN, senior clinical manager at Novation. "A shift to reusable transport packaging is possible but requires collaboration between the hospital and the distributor or supplier.  When hospitals push for reusable packaging, suppliers are more likely to put these initiatives in place."

"We firmly believe that efforts to reduce health care's environmental footprint can not only have a direct, positive effect on patient and caregiver safety, but also can help hospitals reduce their overall costs," Waddell added.

Although reusable packaging requires an upfront investment, the long-term savings far outweigh initial costs, as the repeated purchase and handling of one-time use packaging is eliminated.

"We commend Novation for their leadership in helping hospitals drive the conversion of their supply chains to reusable packaging," said Justin Lehrer, program manager at Stopwaste.Org, the public agency leading the Use Reusables campaign. "I am confident that the organizations behind this initiative can provide the expertise, influence and buying power to overcome the challenges in this effort, and will ultimately contribute to a transformation of transport packaging practices in the health care industry."

Novation is the supply chain expertise and contracting company for the nation's leading not-for-profit hospitals, pediatric facilities and academic medical centers.  Novation has been an active advocate for the successful linkage between environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility and economic efficiencies. 

Novation has a strong track record of supporting sustainability initiatives.  For example, in October 2011, Novation announced its support of Practice Greenhealth's Greening the Supply Chain® Initiative and its Standardized Environmental Questions for Medical Products.  And Novation has been recognized by Practice Greenhealth's Champion for Change Award for nine consecutive years.

About Novation, Winner of the Ethics Inside® Certification
Founded in 1998, Novation is the leading health care supply chain expertise and contracting company for the more than 65,000 members of VHA Inc. and UHC, two national health care alliances, Children's Hospital Association, an alliance of the nation's leading pediatric facilities, and Provista, LLC. Novation provides alliance members with sourcing services, as well as information and data services. Based in Irving, Texas, Novation develops and manages competitive contracts with more than 600 suppliers. VHA, UHC, and Provista members used Novation contracts to purchase more than $40 billion in 2011. Novation recently earned the coveted Ethics Inside® Certification from Ethisphere Institute, a leading international think tank dedicated to the research and promotion of best practices in corporate ethics and compliance.  Novation was also named on Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies list, and is the only company in the health care industry to earn both distinctions.  To learn more about Novation, please visit www.novationco.com and follow @NovationNews. 

About Practice Greenhealth
Practice Greenhealth is the nation's leading membership and networking organization for health care institutions that have made a commitment to sustainable, environmentally preferable practices. Practice Greenhealth's members include more than 1,200 hospitals and health care systems, health care providers, manufacturers and service providers, architectural, engineering and design firms, group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and affiliated non-profits. Working toward sustainable health care that's good for the environment, good for patients and staff, and good for the bottom, Practice Greenhealth provides its members with recognition, technical assistance, tools and resources, and together with Health Care Without Harm co-organizes the CleanMed conference each year.

About the Use Reusables campaign
The Use Reusables campaign is a joint project of public agency StopWaste.Org and the Reusable Packaging Association, with financial support from U.S. EPA's Climate Showcase Community program. Launched in 2007, the campaign's goal is to help businesses and institutions assess and optimize the transport packaging materials and systems they use, either within their manufacturing process or for product distribution. The Use Reusables campaign offers hands-on training workshops, financial assistance (grant funding), events and expert advice, supported by a suite of educational materials and a comprehensive website (www.UseReusables.com).


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