UCSF Sustainability Stories
Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, September 2014
UCSF Releases Draft Long Range Development Plan: Balancing Growth with Environmental Sustainability
In May 2014, UCSF published a draft of its 2014 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) for public review. The 2014 LRDP, once adopted by the Regents, will guide the University’s growth through 2035. In preparing the Draft LRDP, UCSF explored in detail a variety of potential projects for each campus site, which were discussed at seven community workshops held at the Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay, Mount Zion and Mission Center neighborhoods beginning in the fall of 2012. Feedback received at those workshops is reflected in the Draft LRDP.
Balancing Growth with Promoting Environmental Sustainability
“Our main objective for the 2014 LRDP was to accommodate UCSF’s projected program growth over the next two decades within the context of the communities and City in which we work, while promoting environmental sustainability, minimizing facility costs and ensuring that our facilities are seismically safe,” announced John Plotts, Senior Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administration. According to UCSF News, if fully implemented over the next 20 years, the 2014 LRDP would result in an additional 2.4 million gross square feet (gsf) in owned and leased buildings – about a 26 percent increase over space currently in use or under construction – across all of UCSF’s sites. Most of this growth would be in new buildings at Mission Bay, where the current UCSF site has additional space available.
Despite this growth, the plan outlines a range of strategies that will be implemented to minimize environmental impacts and to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the growth in order to meet UCSF’s GHG reduction goals. A number of strategies will be implemented to achieve the goal of reducing UCSF’s greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the LRDP, with an emphasis on sustainable growth and traffic mitigation.
Some of the specific proposals related to environmental sustainability and GHG reduction in the LRDP include:
* Increase open space and add to the Reserve
* Reduce UCSF traffic by enhancing Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs
* Increase bicycle and motorcycle parking capacity
* Lighting upgrades
* Upgrade of laboratory fume hoods
* Build solar photovoltaic (PV) energy installation (750 kW) at Mission Bay Hospital (to be operational by 2020)
* Implement Priority 1 PV projects (see below for details)
* Add on-site housing for faculty and students
* Encourage departments to allow flexible work schedules and telecommuting
* Expand fleet of green vehicles
* Invest in renewable energy projects
* Improve energy efficiency of existing buildings and operations
* Continue to revise and implement the UCSF Strategic Energy Plan (SEP), which details potential project for achieving energy efficiency improvements in existing buildings
• Continue to participate in the system-wide UC/CSU Investor Owned Utility Energy Partnership.
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy (GHGRS)
Appendix E (see page 160) of the LRDP includes a greenhouse gas reduction strategy (GHGRS) to ensure that the LRDP is implemented in alignment with the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, particularly the directives on GHGs, and to fulfill the GHG reduction requirements of the State of California Assembly Bill 32. The GHGRS consolidates GHG reduction efforts already underway and planned by UCSF over the life of the LRDP (through 2035) and reflects and reinforces the policy direction regarding GHG reduction provided in the UCSF Climate Action Plan (2009).
See the article we wrote in May, on Climate Action Planning, for more background information on UCSF’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
The figure above shows the changes in UCSF GHG emissions over time, beginning with the 1990, 2008, and 2012 inventories, and continuing with the emissions forecasts for 2020 and 2035. The solid line indicates historical emissions between 1990 and 2012 based on inventory results. The orange dashed line represents the emissions forecasts provided in table 2, while the green dashed line represents the annual emissions that result with implementation of the Tier 1 measures in the UCSF GHGRS. The blue dotted line accounts for the additional impact of Tier 2 measures, representing the path to carbon neutral that passes through the 2020 and 2035 targets and achieves carbon neutrality by 2047, reflecting the UCSF commitment to ACUPCC and the goal that is referenced in UCSF’s Annual Progress Report to the UC Regents. The horizontal dotted lines represent the 2020 and 2035 GHG emissions targets based on the 1990 inventory.
Section 5 of the appendix describes the GHG reduction measures currently underway at UCSF, as well as those measures that are funded or to which UCSF is currently committed. Tier 1 GHG reduction measures are organized into two major categories: Energy and Transportation. Most of the programs and policies associated with these strategies are outlined in the 2009 Climate Action Plan.
Closing the Gap: Tier 2 Measures
Additional reductions beyond Tier 1 measures are needed over the planning horizon of the LRDP to meet the 2020 and 2035 GHG emission targets. The appendix details the Tier 2 measures UCSF has identified to accomplish the additional reductions needed. The exact mix of future actions is still to be determined, but possible measures include:
* Expand or intensify existing and planned programs for reducing direct emissions associated with stationary sources owned and controlled by UCSF.
* Purchase more low-carbon biogas as a replacement for natural gas used by the CUP.
* Expand or intensify existing and planned programs for reducing direct emissions associated with mobile sources owned and controlled by UCSF.
* Intensify energy conservation efforts to exceed the reductions of electricity-related emissions currently expected from implementation of the SEP.
* Purchase a greater percentage of grid-supplied electricity from renewable, low-carbon sources.
* Invest in renewable energy projects at UCSF or other UC campuses (where available land exists).
* Invest in offsite projects that reduce GHG emissions, preferably within the UC system where the full range of benefits will be retained, to offset emissions in the UCSF emissions inventory.
* Purchase accredited carbon offsets that can be used to offset emissions in the UCSF emissions inventory.
By Green Impact: Bringing sustainability alive. Communications & Employee Engagement.