Dear Patients, Caregivers and Community Members,
Cleveland Clinic is a proud citizen of the world. Our international mission includes patient care, research and education. We were an early signer of the United Nations Global Compact, an agreement in which businesses pledge to take action to improve society. We share the Global Compact’s principles of human rights, environmental responsibility and corporate integrity. We are pleased to offer this 11th annual Communication on Progress, using the Global Reporting Initiative’s standards to measure our performance.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic emerged after the period covered by this 2019 progress report, this unprecedented challenge has further highlighted the urgent need to address disparities in treatment outcomes and access to medical care. Responding to the pandemic has reiterated all that is good and courageous in the healthcare workforce. More than ever, hospitals and medical centers are mobilizing to address the social conditions that affect the health of our communities.
Cleveland Clinic’s pandemic response has been intensive, broad-based and community-focused. We converted an education building into a 1,000-bed surge hospital in record time to meet the potential needs of Northeast Ohio. Our medical teams traveled to hospitals in New York City, Detroit and abroad to support overburdened providers. We launched initiatives to improve data collection and to develop effective tests and treatments. Our expansive internet presence has enabled us to provide reliable, evidence-based educational material on COVID-19 to reach millions of people worldwide.
Racism also is an urgent public health crisis that demands action. Cleveland Clinic has partnered with civic leaders on a new task force to address issues such as life expectancy, infant mortality, chronic disease and timely care that disproportionately affect people of color. We are expanding the primary care services we provide in urban communities near our main campus. And we have launched internal initiatives to ensure diversity in our leadership and to foster increased discussion of racism and bias concerns.
We continue to improve environmental sustainability through strategic purchasing, construction and recycling. These efforts are mirrored at all locations in the Cleveland Clinic health system.
Cleveland Clinic has again been honored by Ethisphere as one of the world’s most ethical companies; recognized as No. 3 on DiversityInc’s list of hospitals and health systems leading the way in diversity and inclusion; and ranked by Practice Greenhealth among the Top 25 hospitals demonstrating environmental excellence and sustainability leadership.
We are pleased to share the information in this year’s Communication on Progress. Thank you for your interest.
About This Report
We are proud to present our eleventh consecutive annual sustainability and global citizenship report detailing our work in the 2019 calendar year. Cleveland Clinic is committed to advancing practices that promote a just, thriving and green global economy. As such, we are a signatory of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, a voluntary call to companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human and labor rights, environmental stewardship and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals. In this Communication on Progress, we include metrics, highlight stories and our approach for managing various environmental, social and governance topics most important to our organization and valued stakeholders.
- Learn more about the United Nations Global Compact
- Learn more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
In addition to addressing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, we prepared this report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) standards. The first and most widely adopted global sustainability reporting standards, the GRI standards provide guidance on identifying, prioritizing and measuring progress on the management of an organization’s most significant environmental, social and governance impacts, risks and opportunities.
More information on how our report links to the UNGC and GRI standards can be found in the index of our report.
Reporting Process & Oversight
An Executive Steering Committee comprised of leadership across the organization oversees the reporting process, which includes the provision of data and report content, guidance on changes to material topics and/or our management approach of these topics and content review. A cross-functional team produces the report, engages with stakeholders by conducting materiality interviews and ensures alignment with the GRI reporting framework.
The following internal departments collaborated to develop and produce content for this report:
- Art + Design Institute
- Buildings and Properties
- Center for Medical Arts & Photography*
- Cleveland Clinic Community Care (4C)
- Clinical Affairs
- Corporate Communications
- Corporate Compliance Office
- Employee Wellness
- Enterprise Quality
- Environmental Health and Safety
- Executive Administration
- Government Relations
- Human Resources
- Law Department
- Nursing Institute
- Office of Caregiver Experience
- Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- Office of Patient Experience
- Protective Services
- Supply Chain + Support Services
- Transportation and Fleet Services
* Photographs from the Center for Medical Arts & Photography were contributed by the following photographers: Mike Candiotti, Marty Carrick, Don Gerda, Matt Kohlmann, Yu Kwan Lee, Willie McAllister, Reen Nemeth and Stephen Travarca.
Cleveland Clinic engages with many stakeholder groups, including our patients, surrounding communities, the healthcare industry at large, trade associations, federal and state agencies, regional and national philanthropic foundations, media outlets and others.
As a community anchor and the largest employer in the state of Ohio, our decisions have the ability to impact many different stakeholders. Our stakeholders also have the ability to influence our operations as we work to address their evolving needs. By engaging with our stakeholders on a regular basis, we are better equipped to formulate solutions in partnership with them. We engage our patients and caregivers through internal surveys, we conduct ongoing in-person interviews with our executive team, board members and representatives from key external stakeholder groups, and we invite many of our stakeholders to attend facility openings, addresses by Cleveland Clinic executives and other Clinic-hosted events open to the public and other officials. We also periodically provide briefings to representatives of federal, state and local governments on issues important to healthcare providers.
Some of the external groups we engaged for this report include:
- American Heart Association
- American Lung Association
- Our top suppliers
- City of Cleveland
- Cleveland Foundation
- Department of Energy
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Evergreen Cooperatives
- Health and Human Services
- Local, state and federal government stakeholders
- National Institute of Health
- North Union Farmers Market
- Ohio Hospitals Association
- Practice Greenhealth
Materiality & Boundary
In 2016, Cleveland Clinic completed its first materiality assessment to help us identify which sustainability topics matter most, or are most “material” to our operations, and where they matter most within our value chain. We continue to engage with our stakeholders on an annual basis or more frequently and use the results of these discussions, as well as research and trend data related to our material issues, to shift the prioritization of our material topics as necessary.
We group our material topics into three distinct tiers, with Tier 1 topics having the greatest influence on our stakeholders and/or the greatest impact on the economy, environment and society:
- Tier 1: topics to set goals for, manage and provide robust discussion for in our reporting
- Tier 2: topics to set goals for and manage
- Tier 3: topics to manage and monitor
Both our internal and external stakeholders ranked several topics similarly high: indirect economic impacts of our operations, our engagement with the communities we serve, population health, research and innovation, access to care, quality of care and the inherent link between human health and the health of the environment. We weighed the responses of our patients and caregivers with additional consideration in alignment with our vision to become the best place for care anywhere and the best place to work in healthcare.
Due to disruptions from COVID-19, we have postponed the thorough update to our materiality assessment that we planned to conduct for this reporting cycle.
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital healthcare services with research and education.
Four renowned physicians founded Cleveland Clinic in 1921 with a mission to provide better care of the sick, investigation into their problems and further education of those who serve. Drawing from military medicine, they believed in diverse specialists working and thinking as a unit. This kind of cooperation, efficiency and shared vision has fostered excellence in patient care, research and education.
Today, we continue to live and operate by the mission established by these visionary leaders, which is supported by six fundamental values: quality, innovation, teamwork, service, integrity and compassion. As of September 30, 2020, the System operates 18 hospitals with approximately 4,900 staffed beds and is the leading provider of healthcare services in Northeast Ohio. Thirteen of the hospitals are operated in the Northeast Ohio area, anchored by The Cleveland Clinic Foundation (Clinic). The System operates 21 outpatient family health centers, 11 ambulatory surgery centers, as well as numerous physician offices, which are located throughout Northeast Ohio, and specialized cancer centers in Sandusky and Mansfield, Ohio. In Florida, the System operates five hospitals and a clinic located throughout Southeast Florida, outpatient family health centers in Port St. Lucie, Stuart and West Palm Beach, an outpatient family health and ambulatory surgery center in Coral Springs and numerous physician offices located throughout Southeast Florida. In addition, the System operates a health and wellness center and a sports medicine clinic in Toronto, Canada and a specialized neurological clinical center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pursuant to agreements, the System also provides management services for Ashtabula County Medical Center, located in Ashtabula, Ohio, with approximately 180 staffed beds, and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a multispecialty hospital offering critical and acute care services that is part of Mubadala Development Company’s network of healthcare facilities located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates with approximately 364 staffed beds.
Who Are Our Patients?
Cleveland Clinic is a world-class health organization nationally ranked in 15 adult specializations and 10 pediatric specialties. We cared for 2.4 million unique patients in 2019, with nearly 10 million outpatient visits in locations around the globe. While most of our patients live in Northeast Ohio, we are privileged to see patients from every state and 185 countries.
By the Numbers
Number of Caregivers: 67,500
Number of Beds on Cleveland Clinic main campus: more than 1,400+
Operating Revenue: $10.56 billion
- Learn more about our commitment to safe care during the coronavirus pandemic and access a suite of evidence-based educational materials on COVID-19
- View Cleveland Clinic’s employer resources for developing and implementing a plan to help employees return to work safely and confidently during the coronavirus
- View the Safer at Home guide, a free online resource created by Cleveland Clinic and The Clorox Company that provides general coronavirus prevention information, resources on cleaning and disinfecting a home, tips on communicating with loved ones about the pandemic and guidance on caring for family members who are sick with coronavirus