Kaiser Permanente: Linking Renewable Energy and Healthcare (pdf abstract)
Purchase the full report on GlobaLens (Case study #1-430-481) – published 03/2016, 20 pages

Developed by: David Carruthers, Yun Liang, Jonathan Phillips, Julio Villasenor (Erb ’17) and Angela Wan. This case was written under the supervision of Andrew Hoffman.

Description: Ramé Hemstreet, vice president for operations and chief sustainable resource officer at Kaiser Permanente, is thinking about climate change and how he can improve the health of the community by fighting it. As a healthcare organization, Kaiser Permanente knows well that fighting climate change can decrease rates of asthma and other respiratory ailments, spread of infectious diseases, heat stress, and injuries from severe weather events. Hemstreet is looking to a power purchase agreement to green its operations, but he needs to persuade executives and the board of directors.

Teaching points: 
After reading and discussing this case, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate the potential risks that Kaiser Permanente is assuming with a $25-million investment in a 20-year power purchase agreement and weigh them against the potential benefits given the novelty of this practice in the industry.
  • Discuss the role of sustainability in the conversation of the healthcare industry as a health promoter and inherent polluter and the country’s low heath status despite high healthcare spending.
  • Compare and contrast the inherent differences between not-for-profit and for-profit organizations and the power they have respectively over shifting resources toward sustainable development, be it of energy sources, supply chains, etc.