It’s Earth Week! And regardless of your position on the reality and/or cause of climate change, this week is one set apart for being kinder and gentler to Mother Earth. Some companies best known for making green (ahem, health insurers) are taking bigger strides to go green — or, in the case of Kaiser Permanente, go greener.
KP has announced an aggressive strategy to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020, compared to its 2008 levels. The strategy includes plans to invest in clean and renewable energy sources while also targeting energy conservation measures. This is on top of the insurer's existing efforts to us sustainable energy sources and responsibly dispose of toxic chemicals.
By reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and trimming overall energy consumption, Kaiser Permanente expects to minimize its greenhouse gas emissions, which are known contributors to climate change and the rise of pollution and disease.
Here’s a bit of trivia: Health care activities as a whole contribute 8% of the total greenhouse gas emissions produced in the United States, for which KP was responsible for 837,000 metric tons in 2010.
"We recognize that, as a health care organization, it is our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment so that we can better protect people's health," says Raymond J. Baxter, senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy at Kaiser Permanente. "Our efforts to minimize our impact on the climate reflect a commitment to the total health of our members and our communities."
Congrats to Kaiser Permanente and all the other companies whose stories on green initiatives I’ve yet to hear about. I’d like to hear them, though. So, if your company is doing something for Earth Day or Earth Week, please share it in the comments. Happy Earth Week!
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