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Climate change is one of the most challenging and wide-ranging issues confronting humankind today. Its effects on the environment and human health have been soundly acknowledged by the scientific and academic communities. In December 2007, the Academic Senate Sustainability Task Force was created to identify faculty recommendations on how to improve sustainability at UCSF. In 2008, Chancellor J. Michael Bishop, recognizing the importance of climate change and sustainability, created the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (CACS), then co-chaired by UCSF Senior Vice Chancellor Steve Barclay and Tomi Ryba, medical center chief operating officer. In 2014, the committee changed it’s name to UCSF Advisory Committee on Sustainability (UACS) to more accurately represent the responsibility of the committtee. Chancellor Sue Desmond-Hellman, and more recently Chancellor Sam Hawgood charged the committee to:
- Examine UCSF’s effect on the environment from a comprehensive perspective;
- Evaluate existing UCSF policies, procedures and/or programs that affect the environment;
- Serve as a coordinating body for groups or individuals concerned with sustainability issues at UCSF; and
- Recommend changes that will increase sustainability at UCSF.
David Odato, UCSF Vice Chancellor Human Resources and MC Chief Administrative Officer is co-chair representing the medical center, and Terri O’Brien, Associate Chancellor to the Chancellor is the co-chair representing the campus. Gail Lee, UCSF’s sustainability director, provides the UACS staff support.
The UACS is supported by 9 work groups:
- Carbon Neutrality
- Culture Shift
- Green Building
- Sustainable Food
- Sustainable Operations
- Toxics Reduction
- Water Conservation
- Zero Waste
Most work groups are co-chaired by a team, one representative from the medical center and one from the campus. The work group co-chairs comprise the Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC), which supports the UACS. The mostly volunteer work group members include representatives from the faculty, staff, and students. Click 2011-12_Org_Structure.pdf for the current organizational structure.
For FY 2009-2010, the SSC put forth budget requests from each of the work groups to address priority areas totaling $485,000. The CACS approved these recommendations and provided strong justification to the Chancellor for funding. The entire amount was approved and funded by the Chancellor, showing strong support of UCSF’s commitment to sustainability. Subsequently, annual requests for continued program funding has been approved each year.
View our video to find out more about our Sustainability Programs.
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