In “Kaiser Permanent Launches Health Care Industry’s First Sustainability Scorecard,” by Ariel Schwartz (May 4, 2010), Fast Company shows us the scorecard’s SKU-level questions that suppliers must answer:
- NICU product?
- PICU product?
- Lead, Mercury, Hexavalent chromium, Polybrominated biphenyls, Polyborminated diphenyl ether, <1,000ppm or Cadmium <100ppm
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)-free?
- Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)-free?
- California Prop 65 Chemical <threshold or warning level
- Product – Contain more than 10% post-consumer recycled content?
- Primary Packaging – Contain more than 5% post-consumer recycled content?
- Secondary packaging – Contain more than 30% post-consumer recycled content?
- Product – Designed for multi-use (i.e., not a single-use device)?
- Manufacturer’s product code for environmentally preferable alternative
The desired answer for questions 3 through 11 is “yes.”
Kaiser Permanente claims that, if all things are equal between competing suppliers, the scorecard will be the deciding factor.
The article provides an example, courtesy of Robert Gotto, executive director in Kaiser’s Procurement & Supply group:
“One contract we went through last year was for a rigid endoscope provider. We evaluated the four major players and found that clinical performance and pricing were comparable, but there were big differences in terms of sustainability performance. One supplier had the foresight to develop a camera that doesn’t need to be sterilized with chemicals. It uses steam instead, and we can cut down chemicals in operating rooms by half.” The supplier was awarded a five-year, $100 million contract.
Kaiser buys a billion dollars of medical equipment and products each year and its supply chain partner, Broadlane, which will adopt the scorecard in September, influences $10 billion in medical purchasing. Chances are good that Kaiser Permanente won’t be the last healthcare organization to evaluate suppliers by a sustainability scorecard.
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