One of America’s largest nonprofit healthcare organisation’s, Kaiser Permanente, has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2020 in a new power purchase agreement, becoming the largest user of renewable energy in the US healthcare industry, utilising over a million MWh of green power each year.
A Commonwealth Fund report has highlighted that the US healthcare sector emitted 655mn metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2011, making up 10% of generated in the country that year. Such growing figures could also be linked to nearly 200,000 premature deaths as a result of air pollution.
A sponsor of the Global Climate Action Summit, Kaiser’s agreement with NextEra Energy encompasses 180MW of clean energy – enough to generate power to up to 30 of 39 hospitals under the company’s umbrella through wind, solar and battery storage, forming part of a comprehensive portfolio of renewable energy solutions and greenhouse gas reduction strategies that support its clean energy focus.
“One of the most effective ways to protect the health of the more than 68mn people in the communities we serve is by ensuring healthy environmental conditions. By investing in renewable energy and becoming carbon neutral, Kaiser Permanente is helping to prevent climate-related illness for people worldwide,” stated Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson.
In its bid to reduce harmful emissions as part of its longstanding carbon neutral goal, Kaiser has reached a 29% reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions since 2008, increased its membership numbers by 36% and reduced water usage by 12%.
Additionally, the business launched California’s first LEED Platinum hospital, the Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center last year, hosted the city’s first hospital-based renewable microgrid at the Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center, issued $1bn in Green Bonds to fund LEED Platinum and Gold building projects and successfully joined RE100, California Healthcare Climate Alliance, Ceres Connect the Drops and other climate leadership initiatives.