Life at ZS

ZSers unite to mitigate climate impact

By Kailah Peters

April 20, 2023 | Article |


ZSers are united by a drive to use our passion for positive change. Often, this looks like partnering with clients in healthcare and beyond to improve health outcomes for all. But there are other significant contributors of health outcomes, such as social determinates and climate impact.


As Jennifer Gold, a leader within our environmental, social and governance team, says, “There’s so many intricate links between human health and planet health. One of ZS’s goals is to further improve how we measure our climate impact, share these measurements for transparency and work to reduce our carbon footprint. Eventually, we’d like to help our clients meet their environmental goals as well.”

We’re taking conscientious steps to get our approach right by embedding sustainable practices across ZS and leaning into the expertise of passionate ZSers like Suzanne Boyan. As a travel and operations manager based in our Evanston office, she helps ZS reduce indirect emissions that come from business travel, employee commuting and more by implementing sustainable and responsible practices.

Where passion changes lives

Suzanne began her career at ZS as a temporary front desk assistant. After wowing senior leadership with her skills, ZS offered her a full-time position. “I’d never felt this way about an organization before,” Suzanne recalls. “I felt like I belonged. I accepted the position because ZS made it okay to be my whole self and contribute in a way that is unique to me.”


After joining full-time, Suzanne continued to excel in her role. She soon took on additional responsibilities and earned promotions, working to flesh out ZS’s internal travel and meetings program. She has since combined her passion for sustainability with her work planning and organizing our internal meetings.


“I’ve always been passionate about sustainability,” she says. “When I had two children, it became more evident that I need to leave this place a much better world for them.” Suzanne lives these values both in and out of work. Colleagues in the Evanston office have even noticed her taking paper plates and napkins home to be properly composted. In her professional career, Suzanne looks for small ways to create a big impact on ZS’s emissions.

“While I was reviewing contracts for our global principals’ meeting, I noticed a service charge,” she says. “I always assumed that a service charge went to the servers, but it doesn’t completely. Most of it does, but the hotel retains a portion as profit.”


To help mitigate climate impact, Suzanne asked the hotel to redirect a portion of that service charge to sustainable efforts through the purchase of renewable energy certificates. This small change has made a big difference on how ZS offsets our energy and is now common practice for our large meetings and events.


Moreover, Suzanne and her team are helping ZSers make more sustainable choices. They have built BlueHalo tech into our travel booking tool to educate ZSers on the emission impact of flights and are partnering with Lyft and Uber to enable green travel options for ZSers. By encouraging our people to choose environmental rideshare options, she hopes we can increase supply and demand and make green options a large-scale social norm. “It’s generally about $3 more,” Suzanne explains. “But choosing an electric car for travel is low effort for our people and makes a big impact on our planet.”


ZS’s commitment to mitigating our climate impact is ongoing and integrated into all the work we do. To stay up to date on our latest sustainability efforts, follow us on social media.

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