UC San Francisco recognizes the urgency of addressing the human health impacts of the climate crisis. This past fiscal year, the institution has made significant strides in integrating the climate-health connection into its graduate health care education, research and patient care mission. 

A Climate Crisis Is a Health Crisis, a main feature of the December 2019 issue of UCSF Magazine, focused on six faculty members’ pioneering work of linking the physical and psychological costs of climate-related disasters and how they incorporate climate change into the curriculum and guide the health sector to address the issue. 

UCSF’s newly formed Climate and Health Center is convening a transdisciplinary community of practice to drive cutting-edge climate health research and education, promote health system sustainability and bring health evidence to climate policy in order to improve the health, well-being and equity of all communities. A newly created EaRTH Center, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is working to integrate environmental health into the medical school curriculum. And the Human Health and Climate Change student group developed a Planetary Health Justice Report Card that grades U.S. and Canadian medical schools on how well they address the intersection of health and the environment. 

In addition to these academic efforts, climate mitigation of campus and health system operations is ongoing. Sustainability work groups continue to focus on energy efficiency, green buildings and smart sustainable campus planning. Green Lab campaigns promoted Energy Star-certified freezers, and the 10th Annual Anniversary Sustainability Awards recognized green champions and work groups. New climate actions this year included the purchase of carbon-free electricity from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, installation of the 10th solar project and the construction of UCSF’s first all-electric housing buildings.


Man in a safety vest examining power cables at an electric vehicle charging station

Preparing for Power Shutoffs

In 2019, Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) impacted or threatened to impact many campus and health system operations. UCSF created a new Lab Services Initiative to provide centralized lab equipment maintenance, temperature monitoring and bracing to protect UCSF’s invaluable research assets. UCSF resilience planning also included the chancellor and other leaders from the UCSF campus […]


Line graph depicting emissions levels between 2009 and 2019, with projected goals through 2025, and split into two categories. Scopes 1+2 decreased from 124,527 metric tons CO₂e in 2009 to 89,260 metric tons CO₂e by 2019, with a goal of 0 emissions by 2025. Scopes 1+2+3 decreased from 159,178 metric tons CO₂e in 2009 to 127,284 metric tons CO₂e by 2019, with a goal of 0 emissions by 2050.

Metric tons CO₂e in Thousands


Bar graph depicting Renewable Electricity Generation levels, split into four categories: On-Campus Systems (2,286.4 Mwh/year), Off-Campus Contracts (0 Mwh/year), Off-Campus Opt-in Utility Programs (0 Mwh/year), and Off-Campus UC Wholesale Power Program (26,069.2 Mwh/year).



Line graph depicting energy use intensity (EUI) between 2011 and 2019, split into two categories: EUI Target and EUI Actual. EUI Actual has remained under the EUI Target goal throughout.

EUI (kBtu/Sqft)

UCSF and UCSF Health continued to make strides in their efforts to use alternative transportation methods and support the use of electric vehicles in 2020.

Riding a bike icon

of UCSF employees, including those at UCSF Health, are utilizing alternative commuting methods

Electric vehicle charging station icon

EV charging stations at UCSF and UCSF Health for 2019-2020


Stacked bar graph depicting average water usage for FY 2019-2020. The water usage reduction goal for 2025 has already been exceeded.

Thousands of gallons per capita


Bar graph depicting waste generated between 2016 and 2020, split between three categories: Recycle, Organics, and Landfill. During this period, Landfill decreasing slightly, Recycling decreasing significantly, and Organics decreasing slightly.



Line graph depicting total waste diverted between 2011 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 78%, and Calculated Diversion rate in 2019 was 85%, with a goal of 90%.


UC San Francisco continues to set ambitious goals, with a goal for 2030 of 25% spend on sustainable food and beverages.

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

Desk Chair icon

green spend on indoor office furniture

Cleaning supplies in a bucket with a leaf

green spend
on cleaning supplies

Desktop computer and smart phone icon

green spend on electronics

UC San Francisco’s goals for procurement include 25% green spend on electronics and indoor office furniture, and 75% green spend on cleaning supplies.

Green building

UC San Francisco’s total LEED certifications speak to its commitment to sustainability.

11 Gold, 6 Silver and 5 Certified

Total number of LEED certifications
Sustainable Building & Laboratory Operations
Two laboratory beakers with stems with leaves coming out the top

total assessed research labs

UC San Francisco has met the goal of assessing three labs.