Frequently Asked Questions
We put together a list of commonly asked questions and answers. For questions we haven’t answered, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. What is Greenhealth Exchange?
2. What's the relationship between Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth and GX?
3. Does an organization have to join to find and access green product contracts?
4. What types of memberships are available?
5. My organization already belongs to Practice Greenhealth, do I have "automatic" access to the GX portfolio?
6. My organization already belongs to a GPO, how does that impact my ability to access Greenhealth Exchange?
7. What is a “B” Corporation and why is Greenhealth Exchange categorized as one?
8. How will products be vetted as “Green?”
9. What if am a supplier and would like to be considered for a Greenhealth Exchange contract?
10. How can I locate and access contracts?
11. Am I committed to purchase from every green contract GX develops?
12. What if I am interested in becoming a member?
13. How many contracts does Greenhealth Exchange have?
14. How do I contact someone for help?
15. Will pricing for “Green” products be competitive?
16. If my organization is part of a larger system, can just a single hospital join, or does the system have to belong?
- What is Greenhealth Exchange?
Greenhealth Exchange (GX) is a Public Benefits Corporation and cooperative founded by four health systems including Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Dignity Health, Gundersen Health System, and Partners HealthCare along with longtime sustainability advocates Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth. The mission of GX is to accelerate the adoption of new and existing green products by aggregating green purchasing volume. By doing this, GX will create a completely green product catalog, while enabling Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth to further the sustainability movement.
- What's the relationship between Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth and GX?
The vision of Health Care Without Harm Harm and Practice Greenhealth is that health care mobilizes its ethical, economic and political influence to create an ecologically sustainable, equitable and healthy world. In 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified medical waste incineration as the leading source of dioxin emissions, one of the most potent carcinogens, sparking the formation of Health Care Without Harm Harm. In 2006, Practice Greenhealth was formed to extend the work of Health Care Without Harm directly to health care providers and suppliers by providing tools and resources to implement sustainability in health care. Practice Greenhealth is a 501(c)3(not-for-profit) company.
Our mission is to transform health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge.
Greenhealth Exchange is owned by Practice Greenhealth and founding health care systems including Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Dignity Health, Gundersen Health System, and Partners HealthCare. We are actively seeking other health care systems to become owners as well.
- Does an organization have to join to find and access green product contracts?
Access to the green portfolio is through a variety of membership options, which we would be happy to discuss with you.
- What types of memberships are available?
There are three forms of member participation in GX.
- Member Patron – These members are owners of GX and receive a Patronage Distribution (“Dividends”) based on the profitability of GX. Member Patrons have substantial input into the operation of GX.
- Affiliate Patron(s) (Designated only by Member Patrons) – These members are generally owned or managed by the Member Patron who allows them access to GX and its portfolio.
- Associate Patrons – This class of membership has no ownership or rights in GX but may access the portfolio through an access fee. This level of membership will be offered in late 2016 or early 2017.
- My organization already belongs to Practice Greenhealth, do I have "automatic" access to the GX portfolio?
Practice Greenhealth is a membership organization founded on the principles of positive environmental stewardship and best practices by organizations in the health care community. They develop solutions for the health care sector and lend support to create better, safer, greener workplaces and communities. The Greenhealth Exchange is one of those solutions. Since the GX offering may not fit with all of Practice Greenhealth’s constitutes, a health care system needs to make a deliberate decision to be part of Greenhealth Exchange.
- My organization already belongs to a GPO, how does that impact my ability to access Greenhealth Exchange?
Accessing Greenhealth Exchange should not interfere with your current group purchasing organization (GPO) participation. The portfolio Greenhealth Exchange develops will be all “green.” We encourage potential GX members to utilize the best strategies for their supply chain, including the use of a GPO.
- What is a “B” Corporation and why is Greenhealth Exchange categorized as one?
GX is organized as a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation (“PBC.”) and is operated as a for-profit cooperative. This structure is arguably different than any other form of volume aggregation in America today. PBCs have several requirements that differentiate them from other corporate bodies:
- The board is required to consider their decisions in light of community benefit, its staff and the environment at all times.
- A high level of transparency is required.
- Each year GX is required by the Internal Revenue Service (”IRS”) to provide a public benefit report to its owners and the public.
- How will products be vetted as “Green?”
Product subcommittees comprised of member representatives along with industry experts from Practice Greenhealth, Health Care Without Harm and other firms who are subject matter experts will establish sustainability criteria for each contract category prior to contracts being established. Potential supplier products will be vetted against that criterion and only those that meet the minimum requirements or better will be included as potential partners for contracting. In addition, we establish metrics to report the value of our product changes. Once the contracts are established, those sustainability criteria will be available for members to see as they work towards implementing our contracts. Additionally, our specifications will be used to determine the “green” impact implementation has at a particular member, health system, or our membership overall.
- What if am a supplier and would like to be considered for a Greenhealth Exchange contract?
All suppliers that offer sustainable products are welcome to work with us. The establishment of sustainability attributes and development of contracts will be done based on the priorities and requirements of our membership. Therefore, we request that interested suppliers complete the form on our website under “Become a Supplier.” That enables us to maintain the contact information you provide and when the category your products represent is coming up for review/contracting, we can reach out and discuss your offerings with you.
- How can I locate and access contracts?
A dedicated system is in development that will feature member-only access to contract information. Both agreement summaries outlining the key terms of the agreement will be housed in the system as well as more detailed product and sustainability information, such as our measures and product specifications.
- Am I committed to purchase from every green contract GX develops?
Although GX membership is not strictly based on commitment, our members have joined us to improve sustainable product offerings and the price of those products. They recognize that one of the key components in these efforts is leveraging our collective volume. When GX approaches the membership to work on a contract category, members provide information on their product specifications as well as general information about their ability to access new GX contracts in a particular category. GX and our membership will continuously work to improve contract compliance with the ultimate goal of increasing the use of sustainable products in the health care space.
- What if I am interested in becoming a member?
Please contact us! There is an inquiry form on the website, or just drop us an email at email@example.com. We welcome discussions with health care systems and facilities that are passionate about sustainability and recognize that in order to make the biggest difference, we need to work together. We have different membership options depending on your size, organizational priorities and approach to sustainability goals.
- How many contracts does Greenhealth Exchange have?
As a start-up, establishing contracts is our highest priority. But, at the same time, we want to use a rigorous approach to ensuring the sustainability attributes established by product category are both of the highest standards reasonably available and suppliers/products are carefully vetted. We believe this review and vetting is what will make the real difference in the sustainability efforts all of our members are committed to.
- How do I contact someone for help?
PLEASE contact us for any questions or assistance. We can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (Mary Starr) at 847-989-9593.
- Will pricing for “Green” products be competitive?
It is our belief that leveraging the focused “green” volume of our members and working with suppliers that recognize the overall benefits of producing sustainable products, we can achieve a contract portfolio that has been rigorously vetted and is competitively priced. This means pricing lower than or consistent with these other products on the market today.
- If my organization is part of a larger system, can just a single hospital join, or does the system have to belong?
Our membership structure will eventually allow for single hospitals or smaller systems to join and participate. Please contact us at email@example.com so that we can inform you when that membership profile becomes available.