UCSF Sustainability Stories


Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, November 2017


Lori Justice:  Winner of the 2017 Sustainability Award in the UCSF Health Staff Category

Photo Credit: Marco Sanchez

For 2017, the Sustainability Award in the UCSF Health Category went to Lori Justice, Administrative Assistant in UCSF’s Orthopedic Surgery Department.

Lori was nominated by Linda Racine in Orthopedic Surgery for relentlessly monitoring waste disposal for the Orthopedic Surgery Department and consistently engaging her peers to be mindful about waste. She constantly educates others to sort their waste and frequently reminds co-workers how to minimize their environmental footprint.  She engaged Recology, UCSF’s waste hauler, to give a presentation to the department.  As employees relocate to other sites, Lori’s influence has gone along with them to their workplace and their homes.

Lori was instrumental in getting the department certified LivingGreen Silver, and she continues to strive to engage staff to ensure proper waste management.  When the department’s kitchen was remodeled last year, Lori ensured that much of the cabinet space was utilized for compost and recycling.  Her efforts have made a noticeable and significant impact on waste reduction.

In Conversation with Lori Justice

We had the chance to connect with Lori about her efforts and personal interest in sustainability:

1. What sparked your interested in sustainability?

My interest in sustainability and waste reduction comes from the environment being so important to me. Living in San Francisco all my life I have seen firsthand the impact reducing one’s carbon footprint has on the environment. The beauty of the bay and its surrounding area only makes me want to do more. We live in such a gorgeous city and state.

2. Why do you believe sustainability is relevant at UCSF?

First of all, it is relevant to everyone on this planet; unfortunately, not all people agree with me and don’t always want to be good stewards of what they are given. As for UCSF being one of the most prominent and innovative university and medical centers in the west, it is our responsibility not only to be an example, but also the model to other centers across the country.

3. What one call to action do you have to other faculty, staff and students? 

Keep the three Rs in mind – recycle, reuse, or repurpose.

4. What achievement are you most proud of?

I am most proud of our compliance with the bins and our success in reducing waste. Besides just using the bins, we also are slowly switching over to more compostable products and purchasing items made from recycled materials. We have also taken it upon ourselves as a department to help minimize our electricity consumption by turning monitors, computers, and other devices off when not in use.