Hospitals turn to sustainable purchasing

Chris Nerney

Healthcare Finance News

October 27, 2014

More than half of U.S. hospitals now make sustainability a factor in purchasing decisions, according to a recent survey.

Perhaps more significantly, more than 80 percent of hospitals in the U.S. expect to be engaging in sustainability purchasing within two years, the Harris Poll survey of healthcare professionals shows.

There are a “variety of drivers” prompting hospitals to turn to sustainability purchasing, says John Frey, who bears the title of “America’s Sustainability Executive” at Hewlett-Packard.

“In some hospitals, it’s really a cost-reduction initiative,” said Frey, who works with a number of healthcare organizations on sustainability purchasing. “They’re finding that by being more selective in the types of products that they buy – in how they’re packaged, for example – and the amount of energy those products use, it can provide financial benefit to the hospital.”

Reducing packaging can save money because it cuts down on waste that must be disposed. Costs can even be reduced by reusing transportation packaging materials, a move that helped Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare achieve “an overall 20 percent reduction in cardboard and packaging waste, labor savings, better product protection and a reduced need for storage space,” according to a report this year by the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership and The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Continue reading full article