UCSF Sustainability Stories

Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, June 2015

UCSF Medical Center Wins Top 25 Award

PictureUCSF is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award—the most prestigious award offered by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase efficiencies and environmental stewardship. This award recognizes health care facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and are setting the highest standards for environmental practices in health care.  We are one of 25 hospitals winning this top award, the highest honor a hospital can receive. We also won three Circle of Excellence awards in the categories of sustainability leadership, climate, and green buildings.  These awards go to the organizations scoring in the top 10 for each category. 

“We are ecstatic to be part of the select group of health systems recognized for their efforts to minimize their environmental impact, while providing excellent patient care,” said Dan Henroid, Director of Nutrition and Food Services and Sustainability Officer for UCSF Medical Center.  “These awards represent so much work and commitment from many different departments to continually improve year after year.” 

LogoUCSF has nine work groups and many committed faculty and staff members share in the responsibility of making the UCSF Medical Center more sustainable each year. This award honors their accomplishments, including:

Green Building

  • Major energy efficiency projects including: an upgrade to Clinical Labs HVAC, conversion from a natural gas to electric chiller, medical air conversion, and lighting retrofit, saving over $1.4M per year and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Completed conversion of 44 Operating Rooms with LED surgical lighting.
  • Opening of the Medical Center at Mission Bay, which opened in February 2015 and is expected to receive LEED Gold Certification.  The medical center comprises UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, UCSF Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital, UCSF Bakar Cancer Hospital, and UCSF Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building.
  • Completed the remodel of Ambulatory Care Clinic (ACC4), which is expected to receive LEED Sliver Standard.  This is the first use of energy-saving chilled beam HVAC technology in a medical center remodel project.


  • Established a UCSF Advisory Committee on Sustainability that partners the medical center and the campus working toward common sustainability goals.
  • Established concrete sustainability goals through the Sustainability Action Planning process.
  • Include sustainability achievements in performance assessment for all non-represented employees.
  • Include sustainability questions in organization-wide survey.
  • Published an annual sustainability report and a community benefit report, which includes sustainability activities.


  • Major energy efficiency projects listed above reduced greenhouse gas emissions by ~3694 Metric Tonnes of CO2e.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions have been reported to The Climate Registry for 2012 and 2013 as part of the overall UC San Francisco campus.
  • UCSF has publicly reported a Climate Action Plan and a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan as part of our Long Range Development Plan to 2035.

Other Achievements:

  • Achieved a 26% conversion from conventional food to sustainable food (local, organic, pesticide free, free-range, sustainably grown food), which exceeded the system-wide goal of 20% by 2020, five years ahead of schedule.
  • Reduction/elimination of meat products with non-therapeutic antibiotics.
  • Increased green commuting by adding 60 new bicycle parking spaces and created preferred parking for the electric car users - UCSF MC installed 16 new charging stations.
  • 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.
  • Diverted 41% of all solid waste from landfill In FY13-14.
  • UCSF Transportation Services were awarded a Gold & “Best of” rating for Best Workplaces for Commuters in 2014.

The Practice Greenhealth awards were presented in Portland, Oregon on May 14, at the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition. Shown in the photo above were the following UCSF faculty members there to accept the award: Diego Castellani, Clinical Nurse - Endoscopy Department at Mount Zion, Dan Henroid, Director of Nutrition and Food Services, Sustainability Officer, Sarah Janssen, MD, PhD, MPH, Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Urology and Dick Chan, Director of Facilities and Support Services. Other UCSF staff who attended the Clean Med conference include:  Bob Gould, MD, Academic Senate Committee on Sustainability Member;  Latifat Apatira, MD, Internal Medicine specialist; and Gail Lee, REHS, MS, Sustainability Manager.