By Lindsay Propper, Environmental, Social and Governance Lead at Aledade
Why do I do what I do? Well, it all started with an alligator. I grew up in rural Florida, and one day, a parcel of land next to our house got sold for development. While clearing it out, workers discovered a 12-foot alligator living on the property. My parents, understandably, were relieved it was found and being relocated. But I felt a lot of conflicting emotions. I was devastated that such a cool creature was losing its habitat, but I understood the people moving in needed homes, too.
It’s been over 25 years since I watched that alligator get hauled away, and I still wish there had been a better outcome for him – one that was as good as the new homes my neighbors had. Every day since, I’ve found myself drawn to win-win scenarios: situations where everyone involved gets something meaningful and valuable out of the interaction. I was drawn to sustainability, which is essentially trying to create win-win scenarios for both present and future generations.
Happy Earth Month! While I have the first formal sustainability-focused role here, Aledade has been working in this space for quite a while now thanks to dedicated leaders and passionate employees. My job is to help make sure that, as a public benefit corporation, we’re using ESG to assess risks and opportunities, centralize and scale our initiatives and commitments, build necessary infrastructure and ultimately create the greatest possible value and impact.
As part of Earth Month, we’ve been up to some pretty exciting things here at Aledade. Let’s dive in!
Watershed & Frontier
Climate change affects everyone – and as a health care organization, we’re particularly attuned to the fact that climate change will have an increasingly negative impact on public health as it alters every aspect of the environments in which we live.
Taking bold, inspired climate action is a core strategy for Aledade. Going carbon neutral was a big step, but we knew there was more we could do. So, on April 12, Watershed – the partner that helped Aledade go carbon neutral in 2021 – announced Aledade’s multi-year $2.2 million commitment to join Frontier, an advance market commitment that aims to accelerate the development of carbon removal technologies.
We decided to invest in carbon dioxide removal (CDR) – going above and beyond mitigating our carbon footprint to actively remove carbon from the atmosphere for a simple reason: we are dedicated to doing what’s right for patients, practices and society, and it only makes sense for us to advance our commitment.
WeHero & Wine to Water
As a remote-first workplace with a strong culture and exceptional employee engagement, we’re always looking for service-oriented activities for Aledaders. With April being Earth Month and National Volunteer Month, we knew it was the perfect time to leverage our team’s energy and enthusiasm!
We partnered with WeHero to support Wine to Water – a global nonprofit committed to preserving life and dignity through the power of clean water – to build 150 Sawyer water filters, a type of small, portable and versatile water filter. Each filter is able to serve a minimum of 12 people for at least 10 years, which means our single day of service (with a combination of in-person and virtual participation) will serve more than a thousand people as part of disaster relief efforts in Syria, Turkey, Ukraine and Florida. Clean water is critical to health and essential for society, making it not only a mission-aligned choice, but also a fun and inclusive way for employees across the country (and their kids!) to roll up their sleeves and make a difference.
Webinar: Environmental Sustainability Solutions for Patients and Practices
Each day, we support health care professionals in delivering value-based care, and we wanted to make sure we found ways to support practices on their own sustainability journeys. So we hosted a webinar for practices and prospective practices on climate change, which poses an enormous threat to the wellbeing of current and future generations but also presents an opportunity for innovative societal solutions.
In the same way physicians can prescribe treatments to patients in the interest of their health, we can also prescribe recommendations to practices to help make the world healthier. That’s why we partner with MyGreenDoctor.org – a leading resource for health care clinics, offices and outpatient centers on environmental sustainability.
“Already, practically every community is suffering from the health impacts of climate change at some point every year,” said Dr. Todd L. Sack, MD, FACP, Executive Director of MyGreenDoctor.org Foundation, Editor of MyGreenDoctor.org and host of the webinar. “Children and adults are coming to our offices with asthma flares from wildfires, adults are being hospitalized with heat stroke and families are experiencing emotional distress when they are displaced by floods and storms. Doctors can help by teaching patients to be prepared, and by adding environmental sustainability to our practices to help decrease greenhouse gases.”
During the webinar, we highlighted the many free resources available to practices interested in exploring sustainability projects and initiatives. From energy optimization to recycling programs and responsible sourcing, there are so many actionable and impactful ways for practices to save money and energy, engage their staff and patients and have a positive impact on their community and world at-large.
A lot! In true Aledade spirit, we’ll continue gathering data, evaluating evidence and prioritizing real impact as we keep growing our strategy and initiatives. We’ll also be publishing more formal reporting later this year – so stay tuned for that!
Earth Month reminds us that it takes a team to turn ideas into action, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Will Palmisano, who spearheaded Aledade’s Climate Change Committee, pushed us to become carbon neutral before I joined the team at Aledade and continues to be an exceptional thought partner and collaborator. I’d also like to thank Ryann Miguel, John Molera and Javier Puig, our current Climate Change Committee leads, who lend their time and talents every day in support of our efforts.
It’s an honor to be here at Aledade and driving these strategies forward. While an alligator initially sparked my passion for this work, being at a company that believes as strongly as I do in making the world a better place has unlocked a whole universe of win-win scenarios that I’m excited to explore.