OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente has received a 2013 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the organization's use of solar power. The annual awards recognize the country's leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation's voluntary green power market. EPA presented Kaiser Permanente with the award at its Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 23.
Kaiser Permanente was one of only four organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for the onsite generation of power from renewable resources. The award recognizes organizations that distinguish themselves by using onsite renewable energy, such as solar photovoltaic or landfill gas.
Kaiser Permanente generates more than 17 million kilowatt-hours of power annually from multiple onsite solar energy systems in California. The systems generate enough power to meet 7 percent of the annual electricity needs at these sites, and 1 percent of the organization's nationwide electricity use as of 2012. Kaiser Permanente also supported the development of clean, wind-generated electricity by purchasing 42 million kWh of Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits in 2012. This wind power covered an additional 3 percent of Kaiser Permanente's electricity needs in 2012, and avoided an estimated 41,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
"Kaiser Permanente understands that the health of the environment is inextricably linked to human health and the overall health of communities," said Bernard J. Tyson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente. "Our use of solar and other forms of renewable energy reduces harmful emissions and contributes to climate change solutions that improve public health. We are tremendously proud to be recognized for these efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the foremost force for protecting human health and the environment in the country."
Kaiser Permanente completed an installation of 11 megawatts of solar generation capacity at 11 of its California facilities in 2011. The project paved the way for additional renewable energy projects that are helping the organization reduce carbon emissions. By 2014, Kaiser Permanente expects to put two additional megawatts of solar capacity at its Moanalua Medical Center and eight other medical offices in Hawaii and Colorado.
Kaiser Permanente currently ranks No. 12 on EPA's Top 20 onsite generation list, which highlights EPA Green Power Partners that have achieved the highest annual onsite green power generation through July 3, 2013. EPA updates its Top Partner Lists quarterly at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/.
Green power is electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydroelectric power. Using green power accelerates the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector.
"EPA is pleased to recognize Kaiser Permanente with a Green Power Leadership Award for its distinguished commitment to using onsite renewable energy resources," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "By investing in onsite green power, Kaiser Permanente is generating cleaner electricity and reducing harmful carbon pollution, and providing a clear example of an organization thriving on innovation and sustainability."
According to the EPA, Kaiser Permanente's current solar power generation of more than 17 million kilowatt-hours is equivalent to avoiding the greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 2,500 passenger vehicles per year, or is the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity used in nearly 1,800 average American homes annually.
Kaiser Permanente is a health care leader in sustainable 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 onsite renewable energy use and energy-conservation measures; providing sustainable food for its patient meals; safe reprocessing of single-use medical devices to eliminate waste; and eliminating toxins such as DEHP and PVC from many of its medical supplies. In May 2013, the organization committed to pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification of all of its future hospitals, large medical offices, and other major projects.
About EPA's Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,500 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower.
About the Green Power Leadership Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) co-sponsors the annual Green Power Leadership Awards in conjunction with the Center for Resource Solutions. EPA recognizes winners in the following awards categories: Green Power Partner of the Year; Sustained Excellence in Green Power; On-site Generation; Green Power Purchasing; Green Power Community of the Year; and Green Power Supplier of the Year. EPA's Green Power Purchaser awards recognize the exceptional achievement among EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through green power procurement, market leadership, overall green power strategy, and overall impact on the green power market. EPA's Green Power Supplier awards recognize green power suppliers for outstanding efforts, initiatives and programs that significantly advance the development of green power sources serving the voluntary market. The Awards are held in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Markets Conference. For additional information please visit http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/awards/.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9.1 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.
SOURCE Kaiser Permanente