Health Management Associates Sustainability Report 2013
|Company||Health Management Associates, Inc.|
|Subject(s)||Supply Chain; Sustainability Reporting; Worker Safety|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Sustainability report|
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Health Management Associates prepare a sustainability report describing the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities including patient and worker safety, privacy and security, environmental management, including energy and waste minimization, and addressing supply-chain risks. The report, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, should be published by October 31, 2013.
We believe tracking and reporting on ESG business practices make a company more responsive to a transforming business environment characterized by finite natural resources, changing legislation, concerns over healthcare and safety, and heightened public expectations for corporate accountability. Reporting also helps companies better integrate and gain strategic value from existing sustainability efforts, identify gaps and opportunities in products and processes, develop company-wide communications, publicize innovative practices and receive feedback.
Mainstream financial companies recognize the links between environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) performance and shareholder value. As such, the availability of ESG performance data is growing through a wide range of providers, such as Bloomberg. Also, investment firms like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Asset Management are increasingly incorporating corporate social and environmental practices into their investment decisions.
The United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment has over 1,000 signatories who seek the integration of ESG factors in investment decision making. They collectively hold over $30 trillion assets under management and require information on ESG factors to analyze fully the risks and opportunities associated with existing and potential investments. In 2011, there was a 46% increase in the number of organizations worldwide using the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Guidelines for their ESG reporting according to G&A Institute.
We believe that disclosure of sustainability policies, programs and performance can help a company manage sustainability opportunities and risks and that such disclosure is increasingly becoming a competitive advantage. Developing a comprehensive system to manage sustainability and releasing a sustainability report on progress made offers a real opportunity for Health Management Associates to demonstrate leadership across the industry as well as in the communities where the company operates. In addition, many investors would like to know more about hospital patient safety and care as the quality can affect the company’s reputational risk.
According to a John Hopkins University study, hospitals are the second largest producers of waste after the food industry. This gives hospitals many opportunities to reduce their waste stream and enhance community reputation. Other high impact areas with opportunities for improvement include green cleaning, improving air quality for both staff and patients, water and energy conservation, all of which offer further ways to improve sustainability and reduce costs. Patient safety, product marketing, quality of care, and quality of staff work life, are also areas of concern. Examples of hospitals with strong sustainability programs include the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers.
The report should include a company-wide review of policies, practices and metrics related to ESG performance using the GRI Index and checklist as a reference.