Typically, healthcare organizations start their environmental impact journey with the two areas where they can make the most impact: direct emissions and indirect emissions, which are called scope 1 and scope 2 emissions, said Britt Harter, partner at Guidehouse. But to truly get to net zero carbon emissions, the supply chain, often called scope 3 emissions, must be incorporated into the strategy as well. Addressing scope 3 is more complicated because it relies heavily on the manufacturers who source and create the products.
“Overall, everyone is less mature” in reducing scope 3 emissions, Harter said.
Despite being in the early stages, there are effective actions hospitals and health systems can take to reduce the supply chain’s environmental impact. The first is directing revenue cycle teams to assess the scope of products they purchase and their carbon impacts. GPOs can be partners in this effort because they are usually already requesting this information from suppliers, said Joe Bialowitz, director at Guidehouse.
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