California Health Care Climate Alliance
The California Health Care Climate Alliance is a leadership body of California health systems that are committed to protect the public from the health impacts of climate change, become anchors for resilient communities, and contribute to meeting the state’s climate goals. The Alliance was launched in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm.
The California Health Care Climate Alliance will serve as a vehicle to bring health care’s expertise, experience, and trusted voice to the legislative and regulatory process for climate-smart policies related to energy, transportation, food, waste, infrastructure, and community resilience.
Alliance members will also use their collective experience and influence to deeply mitigate their sector's climate impact and improve institutional and community climate resilience in the face of increasing frequency and severity of diseases and extreme weather events related to climate change.
The Alliance members - Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Providence, Sutter Health, and University of California Health - represent 22% of California hospitals.
Alliance by the numbers:
- 122 hospitals in California
- 23 million patients served
- 355,550 Californians employed
- $117 billion annual operating revenue
- $6.33 billion provided in Community Benefit
- Alliance members have each committed to deeply reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which will result in a projected reduction of over 2.1 million metric tons of CO2e.
- Alliance members have installed and/or procured 311 MW of renewable energy.
At Dignity Health, one of the largest health systems in the nation, we understand the health of our planet directly affects our individual well-being. The decisions we make as an industry greatly impact the families in our care and we believe it is our responsibility to institute more environmentally-friendly practices across our 39 hospitals in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Since 2010, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent and are on track to reduce these emissions by 40 percent within the next two years. Over the past eight years, our energy usage has decreased by 16 percent, as renewable energy sources now meet 27 percent of our electricity needs. We have decreased our use of potable water by five percent since 2015. Three years ago, we also divested from thermal coal. We are strong advocates for policies that address social and environmental determinants of health at the state, federal, and international levels, which has contributed to the successful enactment of landmark climate, energy, and water legislation in California.
Kaiser Permanente is one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for- profit health plans, serving more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Kaiser Permanente’s environmental stewardship program is anchored in its community health strategy and embedded throughout the organization. Our environmental stewardship efforts help us advance our mission and vision for total health — emphasizes the social, environmental, behavioral, and clinical aspects that shape one’s wellbeing. Our goal is to be carbon neutral in 2020. Between 2008 and 2017, we reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent while growing membership 36 percent. Our strategies include increasing renewable energy through onsite and offsite sources, improving energy efficiency, building climate-smart hospitals including the new LEED Platinum medical center in San Diego, issuing $1 billion in green bonds in 2017, working toward our zero waste goal, and supporting food systems that are healthy for patients, employees, communities, and the planet.
At Providence, our diverse family of organizations continues to pioneer new ways to serve the health and wellbeing of communities throughout the American West. We consider environmental stewardship to be an integral part of our work. By 2025 we will decrease carbon emissions by 30 percent and waste generation by 50 percent, and we will achieve full carbon neutrality by 2050. We have a system-wide strategy to reduce energy usage, and we ensure our community benefit planning includes environmental impact metrics. One vital way we reduce waste is by operating the country’s only in-house medical supply recovery organization (MSRO) within a health system, which is supported by hundreds of dedicated volunteers. During 2017, our MSRO recycled and distributed 38 tons of medical supplies, valued at more than $1.1 million, across the U.S. and to 100 countries around the world. Our advocacy agenda includes environmental stewardship as a policy emphasis at every level of government.
Sutter Health enhances the wellbeing of the people in the communities we serve in part by protecting and improving the environment. To accomplish that vision, Sutter Health, led by Dr. Stephen Lockhart, chief medical officer, is focusing our efforts in five key areas: energy and emissions, sustainable facilities, supply chain, sustainable food, and waste. Highlights of those efforts include Sutter Health’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2025. To meet the goal, we have set Energy Use Intensity targets for all existing buildings and new construction projects. We have pilot projects to install on-site solar at six of our campuses in order to select a solar partner to develop the rest of our campuses. We are working to implement both an environmentally preferable contracting and procurement policy to include human health and environmental factors in procurement decisions, and a healthy food guideline across our system, increasing our plant-based meals by 20 percent in 2018. We have banned plastic water bottles and have initiated projects to change staff behavior to increase recycling.
University of California Health is comprised of six health systems, including five academic medical centers, and form an $11 billion enterprise that provides broad access to specialized care and earns the highest national rankings. Mirroring the sustainability standards of 10 University of California educational campuses, the health systems are committed to carbon neutrality by 2025, 100% clean electricity by 2025, and energy-efficiency standards in acute care facilities, including achieving LEED Silver certification. The health systems also have commitments for waste reduction, water efficiency, and 20% sustainable food procurement. The University of California is a nation-wide leader in on-site renewable energy. In October 2018, it was recognized by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership for being the fifth largest on-site green power generator in the country. Since 2004, the University of California has registered more than 1,000 energy efficiency projects with utilities in the state of California’s Energy Efficiency Partnership program, receiving $92 million in incentive payments and avoiding more than $31 million in annual energy costs. Additionally, the University of California’s medical and health profession schools are exploring ways to incorporate the topic of sustainability into their programs.