VHA Takes Community and Sustainability Activities to New Levels, Advances Public Reporting in Health Care

GRI-certified Citizenship and Sustainability Report details how programs benefit participating hospitals and local communities

Jun 04, 2013, 09:00 ET from VHA Inc.

IRVING, Texas, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to corporate citizenship and sustainability, the VHA family of companies, consisting of VHA Inc., Novation and Provista, issued its 2011-2012 Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability report. The report, which is VHA's second adhering to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, is certified this time as meeting requirements for Application Level B, demonstrating significant progress on the companies' joint commitment to economic, environmental and ethical responsibility. In addition, VHA is the only health care alliance/GPO in the United States to carry the GRI-checked designation.

"VHA immediately saw the relevance in supporting sustainability, standardized reporting and GRI back in 2010 when GRI re-established a U.S. presence," said Mike Wallace, Director, Global Reporting Initiative. "VHA was the first in its industry to become a GRI Organizational Stakeholder and a GRI reporter, and is a unique model in the health care industry for advancing key sustainability principles and encouraging member organizations to actively manage the impact of their economic, environmental and social performance. VHA issued its first sustainability report four years ago and continues to support GRI's mission by openly reporting its progress and advising hospitals on the merits of applying a standard framework to demonstrate contribution and commitment to the local community."

Highlights of VHA's 2011-12 report include:

Environmental stewardship

  • Created "Greening the OR" and other tools that help health care organizations understand and improve their environmental impact
  • Collaborated with Healthier Hospitals Initiative, CleanMed and Practice Greenhealth to educate industry leaders and clinicians on the increasing importance of sustainable practices in health care
  • Novation's 2012 results included contracts that reduced 2.4 million pounds of medical waste, saving an estimated $76.1 million.
  • Honored 21 member hospitals and health systems with its Sustainability Excellence Leadership award, which recognizes outstanding leadership, creativity and work in sustainability.
  • Novation has received the Champion for Change Award from Practice GreenHealth every year for the past 10 years.

Community impact

  • Community Day, a company-wide day of volunteerism, featured 1,025 employees who served at more than 40 non-profit organizations across the country in 2012. Since its inception 10 years ago, VHA, Provista and Novation employees have donated more than 50,000 volunteer hours to help make a difference in their hometowns.
  • Through its Dollars for Doers program, in which the company donates funds to an employee's favorite approved charity based on volunteer hours, VHA has contributed more than $378,000 to 150 local charities since 2000.
  • The VHA family of companies shredded and recycled more than 4,800 pounds of paper during "Recycle It" week and 90 percent of employees participate in its ongoing Reduce, Reuse and Recycle program.

Corporate governance

  • In 2013, Novation was again named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute, an international think tank dedicated to best practices in corporate ethics and compliance. Novation is the only company in the health care industry to simultaneously hold both this and the coveted Ethics Inside® Certification honors, also from Ethisphere, for two consecutive years.
  • VHA serves on the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, which is working to create industry-specific accounting standards for environmental, social and governance issues. 

"Six years into our corporate citizenship and sustainability journey, VHA is uniquely positioned as a leader in improving the health and sustainability of our own community and in guiding major health care institutions nationwide to solidify their own sustainability principles," said Curt Nonomaque, VHA president and CEO. "Reducing waste, increasing efficiencies and improving quality – these connections between core sustainability concepts and the mission of our members is undeniable. And as health care resources have become more limited, VHA has committed to increase the opportunities for meaningful engagement and collaboration with members, suppliers and the broader community."

The GRI is an internationally recognized framework for assessing economic, environmental and social performance. VHA is a GRI Organizational Stakeholder, placing it in a global network of more than 600 organizations from more than 60 countries, committed to advancing sustainability reporting.

About VHA
VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance, and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. Since 1977, VHA has leveraged its expertise in analytics, contracting, consulting and networks to help members achieve their operational, clinical and financial objectives. In 2011, VHA delivered record savings and value of $1.9 billion to members. VHA serves more than 1,350 hospitals and more than 72,000 non-acute care providers nationwide, coordinating delivery of its programs and services through its 13 regional offices. VHA has been ranked as one of the best places to work in healthcare by Modern Healthcare since the publication introduced this list in 2008. For more information, visit www.vha.com and follow us on Twitter (@VHAInc).