Allina Health is a not-for-profit health care system in Minnesota and western Wisconsin with over 28,000 employees and 6,000 physicians providing exceptional care across 90 clinics and 14 hospitals. Allina Health procurement team’s ability to make budget-conscious decisions was complicated by supply chain disruptions and tight project timelines. When a clinic or site closed, some usable furniture and supplies were tossed in the trash because there was not an easy way to find a new home for them on a short timeline. Meanwhile, surplus material was stacked in storerooms, back closets and basements of sites around Allina Health while another site may be purchasing the same item new.
Staff members across clinics, departments and facilities were looking for alternatives to the trash bins within the hospital and campus grounds. “It’s the first thing that people think of. It’s even higher than climate change because it’s something that they can touch and feel, and see go in the trash—and the healthcare industry has a lot of trash!”
Suzanne Savanick Hansen, Allina Health Sustainability Manager, realized that “if we can avoid buying materials that are sitting in someone else’s closet, everyone and the environment wins.”
Allina Health’s success
By using the Rheaply platform, Allina Health was able to save many of the items from the Burnsville clinic cleanout. Since launching the pilot, 6228.1 pounds has been diverted from landfills or incinerators and over $84,047 in resources listed on the Rheaply platform, resulting in $51,585 in cost savings. In addition to the material reused, 60 tons of paper was shredded/recycled and 17.5 tons of metal were recycled.
Many of the usable items from the Burnsville clinic were sent to the Apple Valley Clinic to replace non-standard items to comply with facility standards. Clinics with tight budgets could now outfit whole facilities so that people could build out spaces from cubicles, furniture and even art that were in danger of being thrown out.