November 09, 2011 11:39 ET

VHA Inc. Becomes First Health Provider Alliance to Adopt Industry's Rigorous GRI Standards for Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability Reporting

2010 Report Demonstrates Sustained Commitment to Economic, Social, Environmental and Ethical Responsibilities to Help Improve Performance, Aid Transparency

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - Nov 9, 2011) - Demonstrating its sustained commitment to corporate citizenship and sustainability, the VHA Inc. family of companies, consisting of VHA Inc., Novation and Provista, issued its VHA 2010 Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability (CC&S) report using the rigorous Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. Thousands of leading organizations worldwide use the GRI guidelines and framework -- which emphasize transparency on corporate citizenship and sustainability issues increasingly important in today's environment -- as the basis for producing their sustainability reports. VHA's 2010 report represents its fourth annual CC&S report and its first using the GRI standards. To date, no other U.S. health alliance or group purchasing organization has adopted GRI's stringent standards for reporting their corporate citizenship and sustainability initiatives.

VHA's inaugural GRI report provides detailed information about VHA's operations, corporate citizenship programs and its efforts to more fully explain the importance of sustainability to its members and improve members' participation in CC&S initiatives. This year's report indicated specific progress and improved transparency in important environmental and social areas, and met the required reporting principles that included stakeholder inclusiveness, sustainability context, accuracy, clarity, reliability and completeness.

"By adhering to the GRI standards, we're taking our commitment to operate in a sustainable, ethical and transparent manner to a higher level," said Curt Nonomaque, president and CEO at VHA Inc. "Our decision to hold ourselves to more rigorous corporate citizenship and sustainability standards also demonstrates that we understand and are poised to address the ever-increasing challenges our members face to improve their performance so that they can better serve their communities."

Other noteworthy results:

  • A VHA analysis of its suppliers found that they had diverted more than 54 million pounds of paper from landfills for recycling and saved 463,000 trees by recycling efforts, In addition, members reduced their medical waste by 1.3 million pounds; saving an estimated $38 million.
  • VHA employees share the company's commitment to environmental sustainability; approximately 90 percent of employees participated in VHA's recycling program. VHA saved 1,436 trees in 2010 by fully implementing FSC paper usage and shredding and recycling sensitive documents.
  • Novation, the supply contracting joint venture of VHA and University Healthsystem Consortium, received the Champion for Change Award from Practice GreenHealth.
  • The Ethisphere Institute, an independent international think tank that evaluates companies' performance on 100 separate criteria including corporate citizenship, governance, innovation that contributes to public well being, industry and executive leadership and reputation and internal ethics, awarded Novation the coveted Ethics Inside Certification.
  • Novation's environmentally preferred products (EPP) program helps hospitals develop green purchasing strategies and promotes 3,000 EPP currently under contract. Products on the EPP list are screened for a wide range of attributes, including latex, BPA and PVC free, packaging efficiencies, energy and water conservation, recycled content and many more.
  • In 2010, members purchased more than 1.8 billion EPP, a 3.84 percent increase over 2009, a rate of increase that is faster than the growth of non-EPP products.
  • VHA launched a new Sustainability Excellence Leadership Award that honors outstanding not-for-profit hospitals for their leadership, creativity and work in sustainability. VHA recognized 13 members in 2010 with this award.
  • VHA's Code of Ethics supports compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. The report is published on VHA's website and all employees receive annual training.
  • The VHA Foundation has distributed more than $9.3 million to assist 23,160 employees of member hospitals and VHA in response to 82 disasters since 1992.

VHA's dedication and commitment to the GRI standard represents an important step in helping its more than 1,400 members, as well as the approximately 600 suppliers and distributors with Novation agreements, identify opportunities to operate with greater efficiency, productivity and with improved attention to sustainability and responsibility.

About VHA
VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national network of not-for-profit health care organizations that work together to drive maximum savings in the supply chain arena, set new levels of clinical performance and identify and implement best practices to improve operational efficiency and clinical outcomes. In 2010, VHA delivered record savings and value of $1.7 billion to members. Formed in 1977, VHA serves nearly 1,350 not-for-profit hospitals and more than 30,000 non-acute care providers nationwide, coordinating delivery of its programs and services through its 16 regional offices. VHA has been listed as one of the best places to work in health care for four consecutive years by Modern Healthcare.

About Novation
Founded in 1998, Novation is the leading health care supply contracting company for more than 25,000 members of VHA Inc. and UHC, two national health care alliances, and 5,500 members of Provista, LLC, representing more than 30,000 sites. Novation provides alliance members sourcing and information and data services. Based in Irving, Texas, Novation develops and manages competitive contracts with more than 600 suppliers. VHA, UHC and Provista members used Novation contracts to purchase approximately $40 billion in 2010.

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