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UCSF Office of Sustainability

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A message from UCSF Sustainability Director, Gail Lee

At UCSF, a focus on delivering the highest quality education and healthcare research is the top priority, and I believe our continued success will be linked to integrating sustainability into our facilities and how we operate.  As the UCSF Sustainability Direcctor, it is my responsibility to define what sustainability means to UCSF, on campus as well as at the medical center.

For UCSF, sustainability is about protecting the health and safety of our people and the communities we impact.  It is about putting a spotlight on our own operations to save money, reduce waste, minimize our carbon footprint, be more efficient and conserve limited natural resources. It is also about providing our students, staff and visitors with public transportation options, local food, green healthy buildings and recycling and compost programs that allow us to tread more lightly on the earth.  Through the Office of Sustainability, we have created work groups to address each of the areas that we define as sustainability at UCSF:

  • Carbon Neutrality
  • Zero Waste
  • Water Conservation
  • Green Buildings
  • Sustainable Food
  • Toxics Reduction
  • Green Procurement
  • Culture Shift

All these efforts are communicated to the UCSF community through our Culture Shift work group.


In 2015, the Office of Sustainabiltity expanded it’s staff from one to four. 

Julianne Richter was hired in August 2014 as UCSF’s fist sustainability coordinator, She comes with 12 years of experience working as a lab manager and the past six years as a Department Safety Advisor for EH&S. Her interest in sustainability makes her a perfect fit as we seek to make our UCSF laboratories more sustainable.  She has a BS in Chemistry and a MS in Chemistry, both from SFSU.


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In July 2015, We hired two full time Climate Corps Fellows to help with energy, water and waste reduction projects through June, 2016. 


Tommy Lapoint has an BA from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Environmental and Engineering Studies, and is completing a MS in Environmental Management and Sustainability from St. Edward’s University, TX.  He will be working on energy and water efficient equipment rebate programs as well as outreach and engagement. 

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Zachary Schoenrock has a BA from Northwestern University in Economics and Environmental Studies and will be working on occupant engagement in two laboratory buidlings and an office building in partnership with PG&E.  He’ll also be working on outreach and engagement and across the campus.



We are large enough that small changes can make a big impact. If we each do our part, we can make a difference. By turning off lights and computers, by choosing to buy recycled paper and print double sided, by remembering to recycle and compost.  Change starts with a commitment. Join me in making a personal pledge to take action. 

Do your part ….for the future.

“We do so much to prepare our children for the future,
but are we doing enough to prepare the future for our children?”

                          - Larry Chalfan, Founder Zero Waste Alliance

To find out more about our engagement efforts, please view our sustainability video.

Please contact me with your questions and concerns.

Gail Lee, REHS, MS, HEM
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