Kaiser Permanente and EPEAT: Purchasing Environmentally Responsible Electronics

February 4, 2021


Kaiser Permanente garnered the following impacts by utilizing EPEAT:

  • Environmental and Human Health Impact: Vast reduction in use of toxic materials (lead, cadmium, and mercury) and energy; increased use of recycled resins, recycled content packaging, and reusable packaging.
  • Business Impact: Up-front purchase of computer systems is cost neutral with estimated energy cost
    savings of $1.36 million per year.


Electronics and information technology enable Kaiser Permanente to provide members, patients, and physicians with real-time access to electronic medical information, which has expedited and simplified delivery of care. But the manufacture, use, and disposal of computers, printers, monitors and their electronic accessories have a significant adverse impact on human and environmental health globally. Recognizing this, Kaiser Permanente began work in the early 2000s to identify more environmentally responsible electronic products that would enable them to maximize the benefits of their IT operations while minimizing their environmental impacts. In early 2006, Kaiser Permanente became one of the first private companies in the world to specify EPEAT — an environmental rating system for electronic devices supported by the U.S. EPA — in a contract with a new computer system supplier. The contract language
specified a strong and definite preference for energy efficient and environmentally responsible electronic equipment, using EPEAT as a benchmark to credibly and effectively identify such product options. Over ten years of working with with EPEAT, Kaiser Permanente’s specifications have required higher levels of performance and expanded to newly covered product categories. The organization’s procurement team wanted to assess the overall benefit to the Kaiser Permanente system of this ten year purchasing commitment.

Kaiser Permanente Aim/Goal

  • To procure electronic products that are manufactured with least toxic materials, designed for prolonged useful life and easy recycling, use minimal energy for operation, and are packaged with minimal material.
  • To reduce Kaiser Permanente’s energy consumption and costs.