Life at The Resource Group | Earth Day

By: Tom Kalla

Learn about Earth Day and ways to make a positive impact on the environment here:

We are proud to be a part of an organization that has publicly committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions and zero waste by 2040. This year for Earth Day, we asked Tom Kalla, Senior Manager, Sustainability, to tell us more about what The Resource Group is doing to help Ascension reach its environmental sustainability goals. Read the message below from Tom Kalla to learn more about The Resource Group's current environmental sustainability impact and future goals to better care for our planet.


Tom Kalla

Senior Manager, Sustainability

As I reflect on the past year, I am excited to share some of the initiatives that align with Ascension's broader commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions and eliminate waste from all our care sites by 2040.

Recently, Ascension made a pivotal decision to enhance both environmental stewardship and patient care. The Resource Group and Ascension collaborated to phase out desflurane, an inhaled anesthetic, from our hospitals. Desflurane significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and through its removal, we are curbing emissions equivalent to 10 million miles of driving annually. 

Additionally, in the past year, we exceeded our goal to meet with 25 high-spend suppliers across multiple contracting categories to review their short and long-term goals to reduce or eliminate packing and greenhouse emissions. During this process, we engaged suppliers' national account reps, sustainability leads, and executive leadership to align on shared goals and methodology to reduce waste and carbon emissions. 

Looking to the future, one of our goals is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout our value chain, including goods and services purchased. By working with our suppliers, we hope to collaborate strategically on ways to set clear expectations, review performance, and monitor progress. The Resource Group has created a dashboard to measure supplier carbon emissions for good and services purchased from suppliers.

We recognize addressing upstream emissions poses a significant challenge due to the complex and interconnected nature of emissions sources throughout the value chain. Gathering accurate data, defining scope of boundaries, and coordinating emissions reduction efforts across diverse suppliers and partners require careful planning and collaboration. Overcoming these challenges requires suppliers to engage with stakeholders, invest in data management capabilities, and foster a culture of sustainability throughout the organization and its supply chain. By collectively addressing these opportunities, organizations can make meaningful strides toward reducing their overall environmental impact and advancing their sustainability goals. 

I am excited about the potential for new technology to drive sustainability innovation. From advancements in product development to breakthroughs in waste reduction and recycling technologies, there's a wealth of opportunities to leverage innovation for environmental benefit. From a procurement perspective, I'm excited to see suppliers exploring new methods for reducing plastics and other products that produce a lot of waste. We will continue to work towards our goals to improve our world for future generations. 

Tom Kalla

Senior Manager, Sustainability, The Resource Group