When Vizient® invited Arlene Blum, PhD, research associate in chemistry at UC Berkeley and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute, to speak to its Environmental Advisory Council in spring 2018 on toxic chemicals used throughout health care, the environmentally preferred sourcing staff knew that her message needed a larger platform.
Specifically, Blum spoke about regrettable substitutions, which occur when a harmful chemical is removed from a product, only to be replaced with a closely related chemical that may be more harmful. Ensuring that we remove the entire class of harmful chemicals from products whenever possible is just one part of the Vizient commitment to sustainable sourcing practices.
To further spread her message, Vizient asked Blum to return in fall 2018, when she presented a keynote educational session to nine Vizient councils on the importance of removing harmful chemicals from the health care supply chain. This was the largest stage to date for environmentally preferred sourcing at Vizient, providing an opportunity not only to integrate this work throughout the company by engaging multiple councils, but also to allow members to adopt the Vizient environmentally preferred attributes if they chose, according to Cristina Indiveri, senior director, program services at Vizient. “It’s paramount to provide this level of education to members to encourage the utilization of safer health care products that support human and environmental health.”