Vizient, Inc. announced it will begin implementing environmentally preferred (EP) language into virtually all of its medical/surgical contracts to encourage suppliers to eliminate chemicals of concern and reduce waste from their products.
Vizient is the first group purchasing organization to implement this language, making it easier for its member hospitals to choose products and services that are safer for human and environmental health. The company first launched its Environmentally Preferred Sourcing program in 2017 with a goal of collecting product data from contracted suppliers on EP attributes. Since then, the supplier compliance rate in the submission of EP attributes has reached 92%. The new contract language requests suppliers provide products on Vizient contract that meet the EP purchasing (EPP) standard. Products that meet the EPP standard have met the requirements of the 11 chemical attributes and 2 waste management attributes out of the 23 Vizient-adopted EP attributes.
“Vizient recognizes stakeholders must not only agree with sustainable practices in theory, but also take action to increase the availability of EP products in healthcare,” said Cristina Indiveri, senior director, program services for Vizient. “With this new language in our contracts, we are formalizing our request that suppliers commit to taking steps to replace hazardous chemicals in favor of identified safer alternatives, and reduce or eliminate harmful waste, for products that do not yet meet EP standards.”
Additionally, Vizient released a case study that created a scalable, data-driven and standardized approach to help healthcare organizations advance sustainable procurement using the 23 attributes. The analysis model enables facilities to evaluate, monitor and remove harmful chemicals from their supply chain at the organization, facility, department, category and individual product levels, to protect both patient and staff safety. The case study shows how hospitals can do the same through a comprehensive approach that includes financial, clinical, operational and sustainable impacts of healthcare supply.
“The insight from the case study and the new EP contract language align with an initiative advocated by the member hospitals who serve on our Environmental Advisory Council to prioritize education, transparency, standardization and collaboration around EP data,” said Indiveri. Vizient’s Environmental Advisory Council represents 19 health systems and over $50 billion in purchasing power.
Vizient’s Environmentally Preferred Sourcing program is at: https://www.vizientinc.com/our-solutions/supply-chain-solutions/supply-chain-programs/environmentally-preferred-sourcing.