UCSF Health is focused on tackling the most difficult challenges, not only to provide the best possible health outcomes for patients but to push innovation further.

This was demonstrated when COVID-19 hit the San Francisco Bay Area and personal protective equipment immediately became scarce. Supply chain management pivoted from purchasing disposable isolation gowns to buying washable isolation gowns for the emergency departments, COVID-19 unit and isolation rooms. This change is projected to save over $100,000 per year and divert 120,000 pounds per year from landfill. Confronting limited supplies of N95 masks, UCSF Health marshalled the campus’s eight 3D printers to make 8,000 face shields in a few weeks. The PET recyclable plastic can later be collected, pelletized and extruded into filament for reuse, saving thousands of dollars in the coming years. The Office of Sustainability helped fund the purchase of the extruder to make this closed-loop recycling system possible. Faculty and staff also came together to test ultraviolet light, hydrogen peroxide fog and irradiation to disinfect N95 masks for reuse. Engineering staff worked to provide negative pressurization for COVID-19 treatment areas.

In 2020, UCSF Health focused on waste reduction with the conclusion of an $85,000 City and County of San Francisco Waste grant, resulting in a reduction of over 92 tons per year of solid waste, exceeding a goal of 72 tons per year. In addition, Dr. Seema Gandhi’s team won a $50,000 Caring Wisely grant, one of three teams selected from 25 applications, for her proposal to focus on operating room and intensive care unit waste reduction by measuring pre- and post-intervention metrics and using Lean principles to implement changes in practices that reduce waste, save resources and reduce costs. New waste sorting training was developed to meet local waste diversion ordinances and UC goals. 


Woman in PPE examines syringe

Resource Savings During the Pandemic

In the first 90 days of the campus shutdown, UCSF saw a total estimated reduction of 12,165 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which is approximately 9% of its total emissions. Eliminating nonessential business travel reduced scope 3 emissions by an estimated 4,690 metric tons of CO2e. Energy and water use reductions saved $1 million […]


Line graph depicting energy use intensity (EUI) between 2016 and 2019, split into two categories: EUI Target and EUI Actual. EUI Actual has remained under the EUI Target goal throughout.

EUI (kBtu/Sqft)


Stacked bar graph depicting average water usage for FY 2019-2020. Average water usage has been reduced by 17% from the FY 2005-2008 baseline.

Gallons per capita


Line graph depicting total waste diverted between 2013 and 2020, split into Diversion rate (no C&D) – Calculated and Calculated Diversion rate (MSW+C&D). Diversion rate (no C&D) in 2020 was 37%, and Calculated Diversion rate in 2019 was 39%, with a goal of 90%.

Salad bar zoomed in on bowl of spinach image

total spend on food and beverages


of food and beverage purchases met sustainability criteria in fiscal year 2019-20

UC San Francisco Health continues to set ambitious goals, with a goal for 2030 of 30% spend on sustainable food and beverages.

Green building

UC San Francisco Health received 1 LEED Gold certification in 2020.

3 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Certified

Total number of LEED certifications

UC San Francisco Health was the proud recipient of a Practice Greenhealth Emerald Award in 2020.

A full list of awards is here.

Combined Data

Progress on the following policy areas for this Health System are reported by the campus location: