Greening the Health System

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.

Patient Education Materials: Extreme Heat Brochure and Extreme Heat Poster

Training: Childhood development, resilience and the environment

Engaged Leadership Guide

Why Less Water? Practice Greenhealth

Less Water Toolkit
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.

The Practice Greenhealth Greenbeat Blog

The Center of Expertise for Energy Efficiency (CoE) in Data Centers 

Data Center Profiler (DC Pro) Tool

Energy Efficient Product Procurement Categories Updated
Federal agencies are required to purchase energy-efficient products. To help buyers meet these requirements, the Federal Energy Management Program (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 new waste poster series (8.5x11, general compost, recycle, waste signage)

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. Sign 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.

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:  Sandrijn van Schaik, MD
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
Greening the OR at UCSF
Spotlight on UCSF LivingGreen Champions: Dr. Susan Ryan
Byron Lee, Champion of Reprocessing in the Electrophysiology Lab
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

Green Science Policy Institute Classes
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.

Regulated Medical Waste

Pharmaceuticals in Municipal Wastewater Webinar Supplemental Materials US EPA

Save Our Bay Safe Medication Disposal for Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma Counties

SF Department of the Environment Safe Medicine Disposal Locations

Practice Greenhealth Greening the Operating Room

Chemical Use and Waste Management

Fluorinated Chemicals (stain and water repellents), 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

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

European Union Food Safety Authority: Antibiotic microbial resistance video

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. 

US Department of Energy Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Healthcare Facilities

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

The Culture of Sustainability

Health Care without Harm’s Creating a Culture of Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability in Hospitals: The Value of Efficiency