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Kaiser Permanente, the largest integrated nonprofit health system in the US, has achieved carbon neutral status, in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol.
With its longstanding commitment to improving conditions which lead to poor health, Kaiser Permanente has prioritised sustainability. The move to carbon neutrality means the organisation is compensating for its 800,000 tonne annual carbon footprint, equivalent to taking 175,000 cars off the road. The US health care industry overall is responsible for roughly 10% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.
The carbon neutral certification covers the company's Scope 1 and 2 emissions and some Scope 3, including corporate travel. In order to reach the milestone, the company improved energy efficiency in its buildings, installed on-site solar power, and made long-term purchases of new renewable energy generation. Carbon offset projects to compensate for unabated emissions were chosen because of their strong additional health benefits: clean water filters in Guatemala that reduce emissions by avoiding deforestation and reduce water-borne diseases, and forest conservation in Indonesia that avoids conversion to palm oil plantation and includes funding for a floating health clinic to improve services for the local forest communities.