Children's National Hospital
At a Glance
Engagement and Behavior Change, Supply Chain
Christopher Wong strategized how to improve the environmental aspects of Children's National Hospital's Supply Chain with a focus on reducing single-use plastic.
Children’s National Hospital, a U.S. News & World Report top-ranked children’s hospital, enlisted its first EDF Climate Corps fellow Christopher Wong to support its aspiration of becoming a leader in sustainability within children’s care. The hospital’s primary mission is to create a brighter future for the next generation.
Recognizing the ecological and human health impacts caused by single-use plastic, Wong was charged with establishing a strategy how to tackle this issue.
Wong leveraged shadowing opportunities in the Operating Room and Food Service areas along with stakeholder engagement to gain an insider’s view. Through this work he identified the following key projects to support Children’s National Hospital’s efforts to improve its supply chain:
- Sustainable sourcing: explored how to increase sustainable sourcing via further utilization of the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program.
- Single-use plastic reduction: proposed opportunities to substitute single-use medical supplies, bottled water, and plastic utensils.
He developed the following resources to support implementation:
- Financial and environmental impact calculations: built the story around why these initiatives were critical for both business and environment.
- Plastic Reduction Action Plan: pulled from industry resources and case studies to cater a plan specific to Children’s National Hospital’s needs.
- Engagement Plan: proposed recommendations for how Children’s National Hospital could engage both internal and external stakeholders.
By exploring Children's National's EPP program, Wong identified an opportunity for more transparent data along with the next steps how to remedy. Furthermore, leadership was able to understand the financial and environmental impacts of making potential product switches from single-use plastic items.
Through this Plastic Reduction Action Plan, there is potential to impact about 250k families annually. Reducing single-use plastic, such as the close to 100,000 plastic water bottles distributed annually, directly avoids human exposure to harmful chemicals & reduces strain on the environment.