Greening the Medical Center

Resource Library

This is a resource library for the UCSF and UCSFMC community to learn more about sustainable healthcare activities around the country. Visit often to view videos, attend webinars, listen to audio recordings, or find interesting links to stories across healthcare.

Recycle, Compost, and Garbage Posters
OR Recycle Poster

Practice Greenhealth launches hospital sustainability tool, 2/26/16

Engaged Leadership Guide
Why less water (pdf);

Why Water? 3/1/16 The Greenbeat blog
Less Water Toolkit
Practice Greenhealth is helping their member hospitals make these connections in health care by announcing the new water conservation area of their website.

Less Water Goal and Toolkit, Practice Greenhealth member only resource
The updated water resources are the result of months of research and expert collaborations, and Practice Greenhealth expects that our members will use this to direct and engage their facility managers, green team members and staff around Practice Greenhealth’s water reduction goals. Included are case studies, Get Started Guide, a scripted less water PowerPoint presentation, posters, product guides and scholarly papers.


New Tool Available to Estimate Data Center Power Usage Effectiveness
The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) Estimator tool quickly profiles a data center’s energy use by estimating PUE, the industry standard for understanding and improving the energy efficiency of data center infrastructure systems. The tool is web-based and available on The Center of Expertise for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers (CoE) website: 

CoE also hosts the recently refined Data Center Profiler (DC Pro) tool that estimates PUE and provides tailored recommendations for improvement. Both these “early stage” scoping tools were designed to help data centers estimate PUE without sub-metering. For more information or access to the tools, please see CoE’s DC Pro Tools page:

Energy Efficient Product Procurement Categories Updated
Federal agencies are required to purchase energy-efficient products. To help buyers meet these requirements, FEMP maintains acquisition guidance product categories, covered by various efficiency programs. In February 2016, two covered categories were updated. These two categories are food service equipment and heating and cooling equipment. Even if you are not a federal facility required to purchase energy-efficient products, this information should be helpful to find energy efficient products.

The full list of products within these two categories can be found on FEMP’s Energy Efficient Product Procurement page:

MC large recycling poster (11x17)MC_recycling_poster.pdf
MC new waste poster series (8.5x11 recycle, general compost, waste, restroom compost)UCSF_MC_Stickers_2014.pdf

Practice Green Health logo
Practice GreenHealth webinars are free to UCSF and UCSFMC faculty and staff and some offer CEUs.  To create an account for access send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Health Care Without Harm partners with organizations around the world that share a vision of a health care sector that does no harm, and instead promotes the health of people and the environment. It is an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups.

Healthy Food in Health Care program harnesses the purchasing power and expertise of the health care sector to advance the development of a sustainable food system. Sing up for their Healthy Food Email.

Healthier Hospital Initiative(HHI) is a national campaign to implement a completely new approach to improving environmental health and sustainability in the health care sector. Twelve of the largest, most influential U.S. health systems, comprising approximately 500 hospitals with more than $20 billion in purchasing power, worked with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), the Center for Health Design and Practice Greenhealth to create HHI as a guide for hospitals to reduce energy and waste, choose safer and less toxic products, and purchase and serve healthier foods.

World Health Organization: Climate Change and Human Health Global health professionals join to voice their growing concerns around climate change and called for swift action to mitigate the human cost of a warming world.

Leadership in Green Healthcare

photo of panel for WhiteHouse video

An Obama Administration panel discussion was convened in July 2012 which featured industry representatives talking about the healthcare industry’s commitment to improving sustainability.

WhiteHouse YouTube channel.

Greening America’s Hospitals Part 1    Greening America’s Hospitals Part 2

The nation’s primier greening healthcare organization,Practice GreenHealth is a nonprofit membership organization founded on the principles of positive environmental stewardship and best practices by organizations in the healthcare community. UCSF is a member and staff have access to resources, including Webinars offered on their members only site.

Healthier Hospitals Initiative 2014 Milestone Report.  Three years of sustainable achievement among hospitals nationwide.

The Spark, Monthly Newsletter of Healthier Hospitals Initiative.  Look for events and profiles of professionals from member hospitals.

Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals Hosted and developed by the American Hospital Association and other professional organizations. What you will find:  Talking points on green healthcare issues, how-to guides, tools, case studies and in-depth resource library. No log-in required.

Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, Oxford. UK launched the new sustainable development strategy for the health, public health and social care sector for 2014 - 2020.

100 Sites for Heathcare Leaders, compiled by Ellen Hall. Everything from national to local organizations are seeking your participation.

“Climate Change and Health: What Clinicians Need to Know” was presented by Thomas Newman, MD, at several UCSF/SFGH Grand Rounds in 2012 and 2013.

Dr. Jeff Thompson, CEO of Gundersen Lutheran Health System, presents the financial rewards of the commitment to sustainable energy. Recorded at the 2013 RENEW Energy Policy Summit.

50 Things to Know About the Hospital Industry. Statistics from the American Hospital Association published in Becker’s Hospital Review.

American Thoracic Society Member Survey on Climate Change and Health, published in 2015.

UCSF Leadership Stories
Faith and Sustainability:  Finding the Connection at UCSF Medical Center
UCSF Resident Dr. Nicole Jackman Presents at Climate Neutrality Conference
UCSF Gives Back: Benioff Children’s Hospital Donates Equipment to Harare Children’s Hospital
UCSF Green Champion - Yelena Libova, RN Wins UCSF Sustainability Award
UCSF Green Champion - Dr. Gina Solomon Wins UCSF Sustainability Award
Greening of Healthcare, 5 Green Practices You Want to Know About
Healthier Hospitals Initiative: New Report Demonstrates Progress
UCSF Medical Center Wins Top 25 Award
Spotlight: UCSF OEM Fellow Latifat Apatira
Student Fellowship Provides Sustainable Food Solutions
Lisa Thompson Receives a Stars in Global Health Grant
The Story of Health:  UCSF Uses the Power of Storytelling to Promote Pediatric Environmental Health
Spotlight on UCSF 2014 Sustainability Award Winner:  Kim Klausner
Spotlight on UCSF 2014 Sustainability Award Winner:  Deborah Don
2014 UCSF Sustainability Award Winner:  Spotlight on Daniel Ciccarone
UCSF Exchanges Medical Waste Reduction Best Practices with Visiting Doctor from Kyrgyzstan
New Chancellor Encourages LivingGreen Certification
Medical Education Earns Seven Gold Certificates
Spotlight on Remedy at UCSF:  2013 Sustainability Team Award Winner
Spotlight on Jack Henderson:  2013 Sustainability Award Winner
Spotlight on Adele Dow:  2013 Sustainability Award Winner
USEPA Administrator Lisa Jackson honors Dr. Jeanne Conry at UCSF Grand Rounds
UCSF’s Sukhjeet Sandhu Saves Loads of Energy
Spotlight on UCSF Sustainability Award Winner:  Lisa Hartmayer
A Conversation with Dr. Niraj Sehgal
Spotlight on UCSF Sustainability Award Winner:  Eddie Book
Spotlight on UCSF LivingGreen Champions:  OR Reprocessing Team
Kudos to UCSF’s 2012 Sustainability Award Winners and LivingGreen Certified Offices
UCSF wins National Health Organization Award for Supporting Environmental Practices
LivingGreen at UCSF Video
Spotlight on Sustainability:  UCSF Faculty Sustainability Award Winner:  Dr. Tom Newman

Health and Energy

The Healthy Energy Initiative is a global collaboration of health professionals, health organizations, and health researchers engaging in science-based advocacy for a move away from fossil fuel-based power generation—particularly coal—and toward clean, renewable, healthy energy options.

Toxic Chemicals

Mercury In Healthcare. World’s Governments Agree to Mercury-Free Healthcare in 2020

Classes by Green Science Policy Institute Classes
Though there are many thousands of chemicals in use, there are just six families or “classes” of chemicals which contain many of the harmful substances found in everyday products. Green Science Policy Institute hosted an eight-week educational webinar series to inform manufacturers, retailers and consumers about where these chemicals can be found, how they can be avoided, and what alternatives might be available.  Slides available online.


Solid Waste - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Tips for Creating Zero Waste, Plastic-Free Events.

Regulated Medical Waste and Greening the Operating Room

Pharmaceuticals in Municipal Wastewater Webinar Supplemental Materials posted from 9/24/14 US EPA

Byron Lee, Champion of Reprocessing in the Electrophysiology Lab

Greening the OR at UCSF John Eng’s summary of activities.

Spotlight on UCSF LivingGreen Champions:  Dr. Susan Ryan Dr. Ryan co-authored an article on environmentally friendlier anesthesia in Anesthesia & Analgesia, a scholarly journal. 

Safe Medication Disposal for Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma Counties courtesy of Save Our Bay.
San Francisco PDF Handout on pharmaceutical and medical waste disposal

Greening the Operating Room is, an initiative by Practice GreenHeatlh to share best practices to reduce waste in the operating rooms.

Improve efficiency in your operating room. Practice Greenhealth’s Greening the OR Symposium teaches heathcare professionals about the environmental impact of the OR, as well as how to increase staff and patient safety, reduce costs, leverage supplier partnerships in environmentally preferable purchasing, and show senior leadership why this is an organizational imperative. SEPTEMBER 24, 2015, ASCE Bechtel Conference Center & Westin Reston Heights Hotel. Reston, VA.


Chemical Use and Waste Management

FREE Webinars and Factsheets On Demand by the Experts (Green Science Policy)
Fluorinated Chemicals (stain and water repellants), Jennifer Field, PhD: Professor of Chemistry, Oregon State University
Anti-Microbials (triclosan and triclocarban) Gary Ginsberg, PhD: Toxicologist, Connecticut Dept. of Public Health, Yale University and U. Connecticut
Flame Retardants (brominated, chlorinated, phosphate), Arlene Blum, PhD: Visiting Scholar in Chemistry, UC Berkeley, Green Science Policy Institute
Plasticizers & Endocrine Disruptors (BPA, phthalates)  Carol Kwiatkowski, PhD: The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, Inc.
Solvents (benzene, methylene chloride, xylene) Liz Harriman: Deputy Director, Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute
Heavy Metals (lead, mercury, chromium, cadmium, arsenic)  Graham Peaslee, PhD: Hartgerink Professor of Chemistry, Hope College
Do We Need It?  Debbie Raphael: Director, California Department of Toxic Substances Control
Green Chemistry, Bob Peoples, PhD: Former Director of ACS Green Chemistry Institute

Fact Sheet summarizing the use of Triclosan in consumer products and health implications.

The Green Policy Institute sends out regular newsletters on their work to improve regulation of fire retardants.

Food Programs

Record High Antibiotic Sales for Meat and Poultry Production, Pew Health Initiatives

Antibiotic microbial resistance due to antibiotic use in livestock. European Union Food Safety Authority video for a broad audience.

Archived Webinars on antibiotic use in agriculture from Healthcare Without Harm:
Foundations: Emerging Science, Farm Practices, and Federal Policy.
Clinical Advocacy around Antibiotics: From Resolutions to Policy Engagement.

Facilities and Construction

Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) eTraining Series for High-Performance and Sustainable Buildings offered on demand to learn strategies to increase energy and water efficiency and optimize environmental management to meet compliance requirements of the guiding principles. 

This conceptual design for a hospital room was supported by a grant from the Department of Defense to NXT Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to design innovation to improve the delivery of care. Built at the DuPont Corian Design Studio in New York City, it was constructed in collaboration with 35 companies that contributed products and design insight. Health Facilities Management.

Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Healthcare Facilities, download from the US Department of Energy by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (PDF)

Sustainability in a Hospital Setting:  The New UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay Leading the Way
The New UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay: Leading UC in Sustainability in a Hospital Setting


The Culture of Sustainability

Spotlight on UCSF Sustainability Award Winner:  Sandrijn van Schaik, MD
“The Kanbar Center for Simulation and Clinical Skills can use many items for skills training of students of all levels. If all clinically active personnel could keep an eye out for unused equipment and save it for Kanbar, we would come yet another small step closer to reducing waste and increasing efficiency.”