SAN DIEGO–Kaiser Permanente San Diego has received a Partner Recognition Award from Practice Greenhealth in recognition of its efforts to reduce waste and prevent pollution.
The award was presented at the 2013 CleanMed conference, an annual premier national environmental gathering for leaders in health care sustainability. Practice Greenhealth is a national membership organization for hospitals and health systems committed to environmentally responsible operations and care.
Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente received a total of 29 environmental excellence awards including the Practice Greenhealth’s System for Change Award which recognizes health systems that are working to gather data, set system goals, benchmark and share successes in environmental performance. This was the fourth time the health care organization has received the System for Change award.
“For decades, Kaiser Permanente has recognized that a healthy environment helps our members, employees and the communities we serve to achieve total health,” said Mary Ann Barnes, senior vice president and executive director at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego.
Kaiser Permanente is a health care leader in saving energy, purchasing safer materials, sourcing sustainable food, and reducing waste. For example, the organization has committed to aggressive targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through on-site renewable energy use and energy conservation measures.
In San Diego, Kaiser Permanente diverted nearly 2 million pounds of waste from landfills through recycling and composting programs, including paper, cardboard, construction waste, organic waste and other materials.
Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to the environment also includes efforts to reduce energy consumption, including the installation of a total of 11 megawatts of solar generation capacity at 11 facilities throughout California—one of the largest healthcare photovoltaic installations in the country. Last year, Kaiser Permanente became the first hospital in San Diego County to go live with solar power by installing nearly 5,000 photovoltaic solar panels above the parking lot of the San Diego Medical Center on Zion Avenue. The panels produce a quarter of the hospital’s annual power supply; enough to provide electricity to 1,000 homes for one year.
The San Diego Medical Center is the second Kaiser Permanente facility in San Diego to generate its energy from the sun. The La Mesa Medical Office Building installed nearly 5,000 photovoltaic solar panels over its parking structure, producing 1 megawatt of electrical power which accounts for 75% of its power. Kaiser Permanente’s investment in solar power statewide will reduce the organization’s reliance on the public power grid and help it diversify its energy sources.