Smarter Purchasing

We strive to employ environmentally preferable purchasing practices in order to select healthy and safe products, minimize toxicity and waste, minimize the use of nonrenewable resources, and support our local and regional economy. Our systemwide supplier diversity and inclusion policy includes language articulating our preference for the purchase of environmentally responsible products and services.

In line with the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, each of our medical centers has signed on to a national Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) pledge, and our 2013 purchasing priorities included reviewing custom surgical kits to reduce cost and waste; increasing expenditure on reprocessed single use devices; and specifying and reporting expenditures on Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registered electronic devices.

Other EPP Efforts

  • Systemwide, we include language about sustainable design priorities in all of our major new construction and renovation RFPs.
  • We are working with a large distributor of our medical products to replace paper and cardboard packaging with reusable crates.
  • We are negotiating performance expectations with our Environmental Services & Nutrition Services partners that are tied to HHI goals.
  • Our nutrition committee is working with food distributors and suppliers to tag food products in purchasing reports with desired criteria such as antibiotic-free meats and third-party certifications indicating sustainable production methods.
  • University Hospitals supports the Evergreen Cooperatives, which intends to create jobs and wealth building in Cleveland neighborhoods through a worker-owner business model. We purchase locally grown lettuces from Evergreen’s Green City Growers and solar panels from Evergreen Energy Solutions.
  • We are working with other anchor institutions in Cleveland to develop a regional strategy for strengthening local procurement by, for example, supporting plans to catalyze job creation within the local food economy via various local “food clusters.”
  • University Hospitals Case Medical Center is undergoing lighting retrofits for a number of its buildings’ nonclinical and clinical spaces. Energy-efficient LED bulbs were preferred for parking garages and are planned for installation in multiple operating rooms. A number of our other medical centers, including University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center and University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center, have also installed LED OR lighting systems as described on the Greening the OR page of this report.

15 Environmental Excellence awards

UH received 15 Environmental Excellence awards from Practice Greenhealth, including the prestigious System for Change award, for our systemwide achievements in sustainability in 2013.