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Sustainability at DaVita

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As a healthcare services provider, DaVita faces the challenge of balancing our commitment to sustainability with our mandate to provide safe, effective patient care. While we will not compromise patient care in our quest to be greener, we aggressively pursue innovative solutions in areas where we can reduce our footprint.

In 2010, we formalized our dedication to environmental stewardship in our new Environmental Commitment . It sets forth DaVita’s goal of being an environmental leader in the healthcare industry by implementing programs to promote conservation, stewardship and sustainability at our more than 1,991 dialysis centers, business offices, labs, pharmacies and other facilities around the U.S.

Village Green, DaVita’s sustainability department, spearheads initiatives to reduce our environmental footprint while striving to achieve the Village Environmental Goals. 


DaVita’s Sustainability Program Highlights

Environmental Goals

Identifying Sustainable Suppliers

Regulation

Programs and Practices

Product-Life Management

Certification

Built Environment

Innovating Sustainable Practices

Recognition

Environmentally Conscious Procurement

   

 

Environmental Goals

DaVita continues to strive to be an environmental leader in the healthcare industry by implementing conservation, stewardship and sustainability measures at our facilities. As a Village, DaVita aggressively pursues innovative solutions to reduce our footprint while providing safe, effective care to our patients. DaVita believes that we can continue to grow our operations while creating and sustaining successful programs with significant positive impact for our communities and the world around us. DaVita provides evidence that companies can do well by doing good. The DaVita Village continues to implement meaningful and measurable programs around the 2015 Environmental Goals. The goals are:

  • Reduce energy consumption by 15 percent
  • Reduce office paper consumption by 20 percent and move toward paperless clinics
  • Reduce water consumption by 10 percent
  • Increase environmentally preferable procurement by 15 percent
  • Increase teammate awareness/education by implementing one new program each year

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Programs and Practices

  • In 2012, for the fourth year in a row, DaVita offset 100 percent of the energy used at all of our corporate business offices by purchasing green power credits that generate a net zero increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
  • More than 900 teammates in the Tacoma, Wash., office launched a comprehensive composting program. In combination with the ongoing recycling and composting efforts in the Denver, Colo., office, these two offices diverted over 10,000 tons of waste in 2012.
  • DaVita offers teammates in the Denver and Tacoma offices complimentary annual passes for public transportation to encourage them to be environmentally responsible in the workplace and in their personal lives. Over 70 percent of teammates participate in ORCA program (Wash.) and 75 percent in EcoPass program (Colo.).
  • DaVita's first solar thermal application in Scottsburg, Ind., has reduced natural gas consumption by almost 40 percent, compared to a similar center.
  • DaVita believes that education is the key to success. More than 500 teammates participated in an educational event in the Tacoma, Wash., offices, which highlighted the environmental impacts of food supplies and offered unique ideas for sustainable purchasing. Teammates were provided with complimentary vegetable starts as a means to start their own home gardens. Additionally, Village Green continues to manage and support a network of more than 500 Green Champions that are leading efforts in their respective offices and clinics across the country.
  • All DaVita computers now have the "print to PDF" capability.  Teammates save time and money by saving files to their computers, and reduce paper consumption as well.

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Built Environment

  • Village Green participates in quarterly discussions around innovation within the design and construction of new clinics (and renovations of existing clinics) to ensure our clinical operations are continually becoming more sustainable.
  • Our biggest collaboration presented itself in the form of the new DaVita World Headquarters in Denver, Colo., which achieved LEED Gold Certification. Beyond the certification process, the building boasts unique aspects such as a living wall that grows the herbs used in the teammate café during the spring and summer months. The educational displays not only serve to educate teammates and visitors, but also provide materials and resources for how small changes can be implemented in personal lives away from the office.

Learn how to take our LEED programs home


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Environmentally Conscious Procurement

  • Our continued commitment to purchase recycled-content paper products reduced the amount of wood required to meet our annual needs by more than 10,000 tons in 2012. This saved approximately 1,700 trees from being harvested for virgin paper resources.
  • Approximately 50 percent of DaVita's annual spend on office and janitorial supplies is in green or sustainable products.
  • DaVita purchases sharps containers made of approximately 50 percent recycled plastic, keeping thousands of pounds of plastic out of hazardous waste landfills.

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Identifying Sustainable Suppliers

When evaluating potential vendors, we ask if they do the following:

  • Reduce packaging, energy consumption and waste in manufacturing and distribution processes.
  • Promote the use of alternative forms of energy and reduce their overall carbon footprint.
  • Ensure safe and legal labor conditions in their own and their suppliers’ manufacturing plants.

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Product-Life Management

  • We have a comprehensive recovery program for all end-of-life IT products to ensure electronic waste disposal complies with all EPA, R2 and e-Stewards standards. We partner with a company that securely removes all data and places the components back into the market without ever sending a piece of electronics overseas for disposal. DaVita offers cellular phone recycling and toner and inkjet cartridge recycling at all locations.
  • Participation in these programs generates donations for charitable organizations supporting awareness for kidney disease. Since 2010, these programs have raised more than $51,000.

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Innovating Sustainable Practices

  • DaVita has national agreements with large solid waste disposal vendors to bring commercial recycling to approximately 400 DaVita facilities. DaVita will continue to leverage national partnerships to advance our efforts in sustainability.
  • In 2012, we replaced 8-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer with 12-ounce bottles, reducing the total number of bottles used by 112,000, or 7,000 pounds of plastic.
  • The success of the energy management systems and solar thermal pilot installations in recent years led to a pilot that pushed the boundaries of innovation in dialysis. This past year, DaVita installed a microturbine that produces power from what had otherwise been a waste water discharge line. This microturbine is running in Daly City, Calif., and is producing enough power to offset the electrical consumption for the emergency and parking lot lighting. DaVita is looking to expand this pilot to multiple locations in the coming months.

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Regulation

  • DaVita complies with all applicable local, state, and federal environmental regulations.
  • DaVita meets and/or exceeds the sustainable healthcare standards set forth by Practice Green Healthcare and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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Certification

  • While ISO 14001 is seen as the premier system in regulating environmental management systems, the certification process lacks flexibility and therefore is not easily adaptable to the uniquely disperse operations of the DaVita Village. DaVita ensures the guiding principles of the certification process (program implementation, program documentation, annual goals, annual audit and continual process improvement) are woven throughout the Village Green programs.

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Recognition

  • DaVita is the only kidney care company recognized by the EPA for its sustainability initiatives.
  • DaVita is a member of the Business Roundtable’s Sustainable Growth and Climate RESOLVE initiatives to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions within our industry.
  • Newsweek’s 2012 U.S. Green Ranking List placed DaVita at number 209, up 33 spots from the previous year. Newsweek U.S. Green Rankings highlight the top 500 companies in America for leadership in environmental performance. This is the fourth year Newsweek has compiled its green rankings; DaVita has been ranked each year so far.

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What’s Next

The DaVita teammates have also embraced sustainability as a whole life concept. In a new program, teammates are repurposing and recycling gently used DaVita apparel. In less than a year of operation, this program has repurposed more than 1,500 lbs. of clothing and generated $3,000 in donations for Bridge of Life—DaVita Medical Missions™.

Addressing the challenges in educating and empowering a diverse and geographically dispersed Village, DaVita Village Green is working with Natural Capital Solutions to create a virtual clinic that will be hosted via the Intranet. The clinic is a graphical representation of a traditional dialysis clinic and provides DaVita teammates with a plethora of green tools all at their fingertips.

DaVita's Environmental Commitment

Our business decisions must support the best interest of the patient while accepting and acknowledging responsibility for our environmental impact. By balancing the two, we can give life to both.

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