UCSF Sustainability Stories

Rowena Eng, July 2019

Chancellor Hawgood Honors UCSF’s Green Champions

The 2019 Sustainability Award winners with the Chancellor. From left to right: Claire Skach, Jerry Liu, JoAnn Lopez, Katherine Gundling, Laria Pippen, Naomi Beyeler, and Chancellor Sam Hawgood.  Photo credit: Marco Sanchez

Nearly 80 green champions from across UC San Francisco (UCSF) celebrated with Chancellor Sam Hawgood as he hosted the 9th Annual Sustainability Awards on June 26.

Each year, the Chancellor uses this event to personally recognize all the students, staff, and faculty who are going above and beyond to advance sustainability within UCSF’s campus and medical center. The featured co-presenter this year was Brian Newman, SAVC of UCSF Real Estate, VP of UCSF Health, and Co-Chair of UCSF Advisory Committee on Sustainability. For the first time, the ceremony also served trendy plant-based Beyond Meat® burger sliders as part of a special zero-waste, vegetarian menu from Moffitt Catering.

“As UC and academic research reveals, the impact of climate change on local and global health will continue to increase, and it is our moral imperative to take action now,” emphasized Hawgood in his opening remarks. “Since we celebrated last year, rising temperatures, droughts, and wildfires have already affected public health in many ways. The carbon emissions from UCSF’s everyday operations and our mission of Advancing Health Worldwide requires us to focus on reducing the impact of our operations.”

The Chancellor went on to highlight several of UCSF’s accomplishments from the past year, including elimination of Red List Chemicals in furniture contracts, installation of 1.8 MW of solar power on six buildings, and being the first UC campus to vote for fossil fuels divestment in the Academic Senate. He attributed these successes to the dedication and hard work of UCSF’s green leaders and champions. Hawgood offered his gratitude to those both present and absent at the ceremony: “Thank you all for your continued efforts to make the university and the world a healthier place to live.”

The following groups and individuals were honored at the ceremony:
Sustainability Award Winners
Each spring there is a call for Sustainability Award nominations for those who go above and beyond their normal job duties to create a green culture at UCSF. The 2019 winners, presented by their nominator and the Chancellor, each received registration to the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference and an award certificate housed in an artisan-crafted frame made with recycled material.

Campus Staff Winner:

JoAnn Lopez – Student Life Coordinator
JoAnn constantly goes the extra mile to share sustainability as a UCSF value with other staff and students. She achieved LivingGreen Gold certification for her office and educates her department on proper waste sorting. When the Student Food Market opened in 2018, JoAnn worked with the recycling team to have spoiled food composted and empty cans recycled, thereby ensuring that these weekly markets were zero-waste.

UCSF Health Staff Winner:

Laria Pippen, RN – Pediatric Nurse and Sustainability Officer

Laria has “almost single-handedly” instituted sustainable practices at Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (BeCHO). She chartered and chairs the hospital’s Green Team, encouraged sustainable design in the new hospital planning, held Earth Day and Bike to Work Day events, pushed for staff to bring reusable flatware, and instituted an admissions cart to reduce waste. Laria has successfully engaged staff and leadership at BeCHO in sustainability initiatives that have saved the hospital $110,000/year.

Student Winner:

Naomi Bayeler – Co-Director of the Global Health Group’s Evidence to Policy Initiative; 2nd Year PhD Candidate in Global Health Sciences
As a result of Naomi’s work with Global Health, UCSF has become a major player in efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change on health and health systems in developing countries. Naomi led UCSF’s hosting of the 2018 Global Climate and Health Forum and was a key author of the Call to Action on Climate and Health, which has been endorsed by over 100 U.S. and international health systems, public health agencies, medical professional societies, and global health organizations.

Team Winner:

Jerry Liu and Claire Skach – Dental Students and UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellows
Jerry and Claire worked with Dr. Michael Le to develop new standards for proper waste management in the dental school simulation (SIM) labs. They educated faculty and peers around dental material disposal by creating signage for waste containers and hosting numerous outreach events. With their contagious enthusiasm, Jerry and Claire have reached over 300 students and staff to increase awareness and engagement within the School of Dentistry and the larger UCSF community.

Faculty Winner:

Katherine Gundling, MD – Professor Emeritus of Allergy and Immunology
Katherine has worked tirelessly to advance the work of climate and health research and education. She mentored the new student group Human Health and Climate Change, supported Pharmacy students in their 10-week Earth Health seminar series, secured funding for student advocacy work in Washington DC with the Medical Society Consortium, and collaborated with Institute for Global Health leaders on educational program development. Katherine’s efforts to amplify climate health collaboration among peers and build community partnerships resulted in the creation of the Health and Climate: Resource Guide with the governor’s office. 

LivingGreen Certifications
: The LivingGreen certification recognizes offices, labs, clinics/units, and event planners that are actively seeking to reduce energy use, waste, water use, and toxics while encouraging green procurement and a cultural shift. The single department gaining the most certifications was the School of Pharmacy; they received 5 out of the 33 LivingGreen Certifications awarded this fiscal year. Congratulations to everyone’s outstanding work!


  • Platinum:  Deans Office, UCSF School of Pharmacy, Medical Sciences Building
  • Gold: Controllers Office, Mission Center Building and Office for Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine
  • Silver: HR Dept at Laurel Heights 385; Administration Office, Dept of Pediatrics at ZSFG; and IT Service Management Group, Mission Center Building
  • Bronze: HR Dept at Laurel Heights 325; HR Dept at Mission Center Building; CANDO Center, School of Dentistry/PRDS; Finance & Administrative Services, Mission Center Building 320/306; Center for Vulnerable Populations at ZSFG; and Faculty Practice Revenue Management Operations, Medical Center


  • Platinum: Shuvo Roy Lab, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, School of Pharmacy
  • Gold: Wells/ Arkin Lab, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy and Okada Lab, Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine
  • Silver: Schoichet Lab, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy
  • Bronze: Walter Lab, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, School of Medicine; Krummel Lab, Department of Pathology; and Eyquem Lab, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine


  • Platinum:  Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Benioff’s Children’s Hospital
  • Gold: Antenatal Testing Center, Women’s Health Center, Mission Bay
  • Bronze: Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Parnassus

Event Planners

  • Gold:  Nancy Mutnick, Radiology and Biomedical Imaging; Dorian Hollis, CANDO Center, Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences; and Lisa Ann Accardi, CMP Gladstone Institutes
  • Silver: Erin Caufield, Dept OBGYN & Reproductive Sciences; Michelle Hamilton, Dept of Family Health Care Nursing; Hira Safdar, Campus Life Services; John Hamiga, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies; Jack Whiteford, Dept of Medicine; and Connie D’Aura, Office Coordinator, UCSF Health
  • Bronze: Tiffany Criger, Dept of Cell & Tissue Biology and Ceecee Shinn, Conference & Events Services

Workgroups and Committees: Academic Senate Sustainability Committee; UCSF Advisory Committee on Sustainability; Sustainability Steering Committee and their workgroup members

UC Cool Campus Challenge: UCSF Health won 1st place among the five UC health systems