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Sustainability Program

UC San Francisco has a robust sustainability program covering sustainability activities across the entire campus and medical center.  Formal and grassroot efforts are happening in many areas of the organization.  Find out more about these efforts at the Sustainability Dashboard located in the Review Metrics & Annual Report links above.


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Environmental Health News

The invisible threat: Rising temperatures mean insects can carry viruses to wider areas.

Winter was oddly mild in northern Texas in 2012, a year that saw few snowflakes and barely any ice. When the cold failed to show up, the spring mosquitoes arrived in droves, carrying disease.

Paris climate summit: the climate circus comes to town.

The soap opera of global climate talks has been playing for 20 years. As it comes to Paris on Monday, Suzanne Goldenberg reviews the tears, the bloodshed and the unspeakable catering.

Brazil to sue BHP, Vale for $5 billion in damages for dam burst.

Brazil's federal and state governments plan to sue the owners of the Samarco iron ore miner for 20 billion reais ($5.24 billion)in damages caused by the burst of a tailings dam, Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira told reporters on Friday.

The green backlash against Black Friday.

On Black Friday, Kentucky native Clinton Lewis won’t be rushing to the mall for deals. The photographer won’t be fatigued from a six-hour line outside Walmart, or stressed from pushing through crowds. He’ll be outside at Low Hollow in Bowling Green, Kentucky, running the trails.

California drought: Project to drain largest reservoir in Santa Clara County a year behind schedule.

No matter how much it rains this winter, one of the Bay Area's largest reservoirs won't fill up. Seismic safety concerns are already restricting the amount of water that can be stored in Anderson Reservoir, and now the discovery of new "trace faults" near the dam have further stalled a $193 million project to strengthen it.

Paris climate talks avoid scientists’ goal of ‘carbon budget.’

After two decades of talks that failed to slow the relentless pace of global warming, negotiators from almost 200 countries are widely expected to sign a deal in the next two weeks to take concrete steps to cut emissions.

Climate change and hunger fights should go hand-in-hand.

The COP 21 climate conference, to be held in Paris in the aftermath of the recent barbaric acts of terrorism, is a fresh opportunity for the international community to come together and show its commitment.

South Sudan food team finds risk of 'widespread catastrophe.'

Tens of thousands of people surviving on water lilies and swamp fish after fleeing South Sudan's war may run out of food entirely when the dry season starts in January, food security experts said in a report seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Bhopal residents demonstrate demanding clean drinking water.

Hundreds of residents of the communities next to the abandoned Union Carbide factory in Bhopal on Thursday demonstrated at the JLN Hospital demanding free medical treatment, clean drinking water and exemption from paying water bills.

Most Tanzanians rely on unsafe water despite government efforts: Survey.

Only one in three people in Tanzania has access to piped water despite government efforts to improve water supplies.

EPA nixes approval of Enlist Duo weed killer.

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking steps to withdraw approval of a controversial new weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans.

Climate refugees and a collapsing city.

With multiplying impacts of climate change - increasing floods, cyclones, and drought - thousands of climate refugees are migrating to Dhaka. And the city, well beyond its carrying capacity, is bursting at the seams.

Mud from Brazil dam burst is toxic, UN says.

Mud from a dam that burst at an iron ore mine in Brazil earlier this month, killing 12 people and polluting an important river, is toxic, the United Nations' human rights agency said on Wednesday.

Obama plans aggressive regs push in final year.

A new document sets 2015 and 2016 deadlines for major rules on everything from food safety and drones to electronic cigarettes and workers’ exposure to harmful silica dust.

Dow predicts EPA review of herbicide safety resolved soon.

Dow Chemical Co expects environmental safety concerns about its new herbicide Enlist Duo to be resolved, the company said Wednesday, after the government asked a federal appellate court to pull regulatory approvals while the chemical's safety is re-examined.

What chemicals are used in fracking? Industry discloses less and less.

Companies that report their hydraulic fracturing chemicals to FracFocus have become less forthcoming since 2013, finds a study of 96,000 disclosures.

Is your Thanksgiving turkey stuffed with antibiotics?

If you bought your Thanksgiving turkey this year from a grocery store, there’s a good chance it was raised using antibiotics as a feed additive.

Some 3-D printing can leave toxic taint.

Today, it seems that three-dimensional, or 3-D, printers are everywhere. People use them in labs, schools —even at home. But some newly printed plastics may emerge with traces of dangerous chemicals, a new study finds.

Coke’s chief scientist, who orchestrated obesity research, is leaving.

Coca-Cola’s top scientist is stepping down after revelations that the beverage giant initiated a strategy of funding scientific research that played down the role of Coke products in the spread of obesity.

Toxic Kenya dump embodies pope's environmental concern., Toxic Kenya dump embodies Pope's environmental concern.

The scavengers at Nairobi's notorious Dandora dump are some of the poorest of Kenya's poor - and they are likely to be on Pope Francis' mind when he makes his first trip to Africa Thursday.

Brazil mine disaster floods area with toxic substances.

The November collapse of a mine in the small historic town of Bento Rodrigues killed 11 people and released enough mercury and arsenic to cause irreversible health damage.

Michigan plan to deregulate chemicals upsets environmentalists.

The debate about environmental injustice has grown more serious in Michigan after the Department of Environment Quality (DEQ) recently proposed deregulating 500 chemicals.

Puzzling Ebola death shows how little we know about the virus.

The World Health Organization had declared in May and then again in September that transmission of Ebola in Liberia had come to a halt. Both announcements turned out to be premature.

Laos counts the cost of climate change: Record floods, drought and landslides.

Extreme weather risks the food security of thousands of Lao villages. At the COP 21 talks, will rich countries honour their pledge of $100bn a year by 2020 to help?

Turf wars: how safe are the fields where we play?

Amy Griffin, the former U.S. women's national team goalkeeper and current University of Washington goalkeeper coach, started keeping a list in 2009. She started gathering names of athletes who had played on crumb-rubber synthetic turf and had been diagnosed with cancer.

Study to address Tucson firefighters' exposure to carcinogens.

A $1.5 million study to reduce cancer among firefighters, a leading cause of death, is being conducted by the University of Arizona in conjunction with the Tucson Fire Department.

Additives in Roundup weedkiller may be genotoxic.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup pesticide, may not cause cancer on its own, but once it's mixed with other constituents it could be genotoxic.

Hunger heralds climate change’s arrival in Botswana.

A perfect storm of lower rainfall and a growing population beckons for Botswana. But others find climate change is already in the fields and paddocks.

China's greenhouse gases don't seem to trouble most of its citizens.

China is the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter and drives climate change more than any other country. Most Chinese, though, don't seem to see climate change as a current threat.

Personal sensors: The first genuine must-have accessory?

The Atmotube is a sleek, pocket-sized device with a battery of sensors embedded in its titanium shell. The design team claims it can detect 127 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), as well as poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide.