Why Vizient supports the Chemical Footprint Project

Case Studies  

Why Vizient supports the Chemical Footprint Project image

Vizient® is the largest member-driven health care group purchasing organization in the U.S., serving approximately 3,100 health system members. Our purpose is to help ensure our members deliver exceptional, cost-effective care. Our members include academic medical centers, pediatric facilities, community hospitals, integrated health delivery networks and non-acute health care providers — and represent approximately $100 billion in annual purchasing volume.  In 2018, Vizient again received a World’s Most Ethical Company designation from the Ethisphere Institute. This is the third consecutive year Vizient has been recognized and builds on the work of Novation, part of the merger that formed Vizient in 2015, which held the designation from 2012 through 2015.

Vizient offers the broadest, most cost-effective portfolio of environmentally preferred products in the industry. At its core, the Vizient Environmentally Preferred Sourcing (EPS) Program focuses on reducing patient risk and improving patient safety. The health care industry inadvertently causes harm by exposing patients, family members and caregivers to toxic substances, hazardous waste and pollution from regularly used products. Our EPS Program positively contributes to human and environmental health by enabling responsible sourcing decisions for those products.

The Vizient Environmental Advisory Council is comprised of 19 experts from our member hospitals across the country. The Environmental Advisory Council advises and guides our EPS strategy with a focus on identifying, vetting and encouraging the purchase of products and services that reduce harmful environmental and human health impacts in health care, while maintaining quality and affordability. Council members provide feedback regarding upcoming bids, share best practices, and collaborate with Vizient leaders and experts to move the market toward environmentally preferred sourcing practices.

Through support of the council, we adopted 23 environmentally preferred attributes for products, 15 of which directly relate to chemical composition. These include, for example, providing a chemical inventory for a product and confirming that the product does not contain bisphenol A, flame retardants, mercury, polyvinyl chloride, phthalates, or persistent and bioaccumulative toxic chemicals.  In October 2017, completion of environmentally preferred attributes in the Vizient “request for proposal” became an element of the nonfinancial criteria in all bids. In select bids, additional points are considered when the supplier answers in the positive for the attributes. The new Vizient Catalog allows members to view and filter for environmental attributes at the product level, including whether attributes are third-party verified.   Vizient is now actively working with our industry counterparts to adopt standardized environmentally preferable attributes across the health care industry.

Vizient encourages its suppliers to participate in the Chemical Footprint Project Survey as a way to measure their own progress toward comprehensive chemicals management systems. These systems enable our suppliers to make informed choices about chemicals in the products they produce, allowing them to reduce their chemical footprints in alignment with health care priorities.

By identifying and standardizing priorities for chemical safety in the products in our supplier agreements and creating transparency around chemical and environmental attributes, we enable our members to make informed purchasing decisions, improving their ability to deliver excellent health care.

Cristina D. Indiveri, MS

Senior Director, Program Services

Environmentally Preferred Sourcing

From the 2018 CFP Report