UCSF Sustainability Stories

Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, November 2014

Highlights of UCSF Medical Center’s Second Sustainability Report for FY13 and FY14

ImageUCSF is a campus entirely dedicated to health and biomedical sciences.  We recognize that healthcare’s ethical responsibility is “first, do no harm.”  We also take seriously our responsibility to identify and implement sustainability measures at the medical center.  Our sustainability efforts save money, minimize waste, reduce emissions, and increase efficiency, as well as embed a culture of sustainability, reducing UCSF’s impact on the environment and community.
Over the past two years, the medical center has continued to earn recognition for our efforts, earning awards from Practice Green Health, Becker’s Hospital Review, University HealthSystem Consortium, and Healthier Hospital Initiative.  Some highlights and savings from UCSF Medical Center (UCSFMC) sustainability initiatives are summarized below.  This is our second Sustainability Report covering the period from July 2012 – June 2014, which corresponds to FY13 and FY14.

  • Completed the Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) 2.0, determining goals, strategies, and tactics for the coming years through 2020.

  • Constructed the new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, which is expected to receive LEED Gold standard.  Highlights of the new hospitals include reduced toxic exposures to building materials and furnishings; an energy-efficient design resulting in 50% less power usage than the average US hospital; a 750 kW photovoltaic system; 4.3 acres of green space, and water conservation measures that will save four million gallons of potable water per year.

  • Increased sustainable food purchases from 12.6% to 26.7% over the past four years.

  • Saved over $3.5 million per year through reprocessing medical devices, reducing medical waste, greening efforts in operating rooms, purchasing reusable pillows, and energy-saving upgrades.

  • Composted 90% of UCSFMC’s food waste, which is almost 7% of our total solid waste.

  • Diverted 41% of all solid waste from landfill In FY13-14.

  • Created a specific section on the UCSF Sustainability Website called Greening the Medical Center.
  • Awarded the 2013 Bronze Telly Award in the employee communications category for the UCSF-produced LivingGreen at UCSF engagement video.  Filmed at the medical center, the video has over 3,000 hits on YouTube.
  • Replaced an inefficient stream-operated chiller with an electric chiller at the Moffitt/Long Hospitals at the Parnassus campus, reducing the medical center’s utility bill by about $1.3 million a year saving both natural gas and water.

  • Ran the Race to Certification campaign encouraging offices, labs, and units to be LivingGreen certified.  To date, 16 offices, labs, and units at the medical center have participated in the program.

  • Completed the remodel of Ambulatory Care Clinic (ACC4), which is expected to receive at least LEED Sliver.  This is the first use of energy-saving chilled beam HVAC technology in a medical center remodel project.

  • PGH Picture
  • Earned the 2013 Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Award with Distinction.

  • Earned the 2014 Practice Greenhealth Emerald Award, the second highest award level, as well as received two Environmental Excellence awards in the new categories of Climate and Green Building.

  • Named one of the 50 Greenest Hospitals by Becker’s Hospital Review.

  • Earned the University HealthSystem Consortium’s Sustainability Award for its commitment to sustainable healthcare operations increasing awareness of and communicating about the sustainability program to staff and internal stakeholders and throughout the community.

  • Award
  • Received the Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions gold level Healthy Hospital Award for maintaining the top percentile amongst national hospitals. The medical center won the award for waste reduction efforts and sustainable healthcare practices in 2013.
  • Donated 26,000 pounds of medical equipment and supplies to international hospitals/clinics in 70 countries.

  • Replaced conventional toxic cleaners with certified Green Seal cleaning products.

Want more detail?  Click HERE for the full report.