GHG Emissions, Industrial - September 15, 2020
Kaiser Permanente achieves carbon neutral status
Kaiser Permanente announced Sept. 14 that they have officially achieved carbon neutral status, becoming the first healthcare system in the U.S. to do so.
The healthcare company estimated that their previous carbon footprint had been nearly 800,000 tons of CO2 annually, contributing to the 10% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions that come from the healthcare industry. Kaiser Permanente achieved this milestone through a combination of renewable energy projects, like on-site solar installation and long-term PPAs, and energy efficiency upgrades to their buildings.
The company also invested in carbon offsets to cover the remaining unavoidable emissions, such as the natural gas power that heats and cools their hospitals.
“As physicians, climate change is absolutely in our lane — let’s educate ourselves, our patients, and our communities,” Imelda Dacones, MD, president and CEO of Northwest Permanente Medical Group, said in a statement. “As a world, we will develop vaccines and effective medicines to treat the COVID-19 pandemic. Climate change, on the other hand, is a public health crisis where there will be no point of return if we don’t act today.”
Next steps for the healthcare conglomerate will be pursuing their goal of reducing emissions within their supplier network. The carbon-neutral certification applies to Scope 1 and 2 emissions in addition to select Scope 3 emissions from sources like corporate travel, but they plan to identify a science-based target for further Scope 3 emissions reductions in 2021.
“We are proud of this accomplishment, but the urgency and scale of climate change require even greater and more widespread innovation,” said Ramé Hemstreet, vice president of operations for Kaiser Permanente’s National Facilities Services, and chief energy officer. “As we set our sights on new goals, we hope our example inspires others in our industry to do the same.”