Premier’s environmental leadership

The Premier healthcare alliance and its members are working together to improve healthcare quality and affordability. Premier has led the industry, being named a “Champion for Change” award recipient from Practice Greenhealth (formerly H2E) fourteen years in a row – firmly establishing Premier and its members as leaders in healthcare and setting the bar in the industry for commitment to environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) and sustainability best practices.

Premier’s GreenHealthy® program

Premier was selected for the Champions for Change award for its commitment to a healthy environment, evidenced in its GreenHealthy program. That includes Premier’s EPP (environmentally preferable purchasing) program, comprehensive and publicly accessible website with tools and resources on healthcare energy reduction, an internal corporate-wide Yes to Green program, case studies on sustainability best practices on GreenCorner website, and advocacy and partnerships to advance healthcare sustainability goals.

EPP-green products on Premier contract

Premier has more than 250 environmentally preferable contracts, including those addressing medical products, food and energy efficiency. Premier maintains a selected list of EPP contracts/products that is located in Premier’s “Supply Chain Advisor (SCA)”  catalog. Additional product details are housed with each contract and suppliers may also be contacted for complete product information. (Member log-in required for access to Supply Chain Advisor.)

Contracted suppliers

Premier recognizes contracted suppliers with environmentally preferable products in two ways. Premier uses a green leaf icon to tag “environmentally preferable contracts” from contracted suppliers in its electronic catalog for members, Supply Chain Advisor catalog These contracts have products or services with environmentally preferable attributes that reduce the negative impact on the quality and health of the environment and consider, for example, the product materials, potential toxicity, production, packaging, reusability, energy efficiency, disposal, nationally recognized certification, or its impact on the environment. Premier also posts a list of Contracted Suppliers with EPP products on our publicly accessible Premier Safety Institute website on GreenHealthy page. Members are directed to review contract details in Supply Chain Advisor catalog and contract suppliers for additional details.

Key EPP issues

The health and safety of our patients and the public are linked to the health of the environment. The healthcare community therefore has a responsibility to help maintain a healthy environment with a commitment to environmentally sound purchasing. This is accomplished through the purchasing and use of environmentally preferable products and services.. In general, compared to competing products and services for the same purpose, environmentally preferable products are less toxic, minimally polluting, more energy efficient, and safer and healthier for patients, workers, and the environment. The comparisons may consider raw materials, acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product or service. The initiative is an ongoing process, in which healthcare facilities continually refine and expand the scope of such efforts. Facilities may begin on a small scale with recycled paper, or examine potential products at each stage of impact from manufacture through final disposal. The overall goal is the same; careful selection of products and services to reduce the negative impact on the quality and health of the environment.

Environmentally preferable issues of concern that need to be considered in the context of potential effects on human health, worker and patient safety, the maintenance of a healthy environment, and the availability of safe and effective alternatives include:

Standardized environmental questions for medical products

Premier participated in a working group with group purchasing organizations led by Practice Greenhealth to develop a common and basic set of questions for suppliers to identify environmentally preferable products medical products. The questions cover key areas of concern in packaging, manufacturing, use, and the end-of-life of medical products based on environmental priorities in health care. The questions are not designed to replace additional product-specific and general environmental questions and considerations of products and suppliers as part of Premier’s sourcing process.

Premier’s position on EPP