As a premier academic health system, UC Davis Health is committed to fostering innovation, collaboration and positive impact through advancing sustainability. For the second year in a row, UC Davis Health received the highest honor from Practice Greenhealth with the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award.

UC Davis Health is prioritizing sustainability throughout the institution in many ways. Every anesthesia machine in all 51 operating/procedure rooms has migrated from piped gas to canister. UC Davis Health reduced procurement of nitrous oxide by 1.2 million liters or 95%, representing a reduction of 537 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent since 2021.

Read More about Sustainability at UC Davis Health

The health center developed a multiyear plan for energy savings in operating rooms, which includes replacing lighting and implementing HVAC scheduling setbacks, saving 500,000 kilowatt-hours per year or 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is equal to removing 63 cars from the road. Additionally, UC Davis Health is home to more than 90 electric vehicle charging stations. With each new parking project, additional EV charging stations will be installed.

In accordance with the state’s emergency regulations effective June 2022, UC Davis Health stopped irrigating nonfunctional turf (areas of grass without trees) throughout campus. In addition, a turf replacement master landscaping plan underway will focus on the replacement of turf with California native, drought-tolerant plantings and dryscape to further reduce water use.      

UC Davis Health also advanced its sustainable transportation goals. The Causeway Connection is a zero-emission bus service between the Davis and Sacramento UC Davis campuses, providing a free and convenient travel option. The Green Commuter Program is designed to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship while reducing the cost and stress of an employee’s commute by encouraging use of sustainable transportation options. Additionally, in honor of Earth Day 2023, UC Davis Health launched the first sustainability walking tour. The self-guided tour covers more than a dozen sustainability highlights throughout the beautiful medical center campus.


Plugs and outlets in an operating room

How Anesthesiologists Are Tackling Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Operating Room

In addition to transitioning to less-polluting anesthetic gases in its operating rooms, UC Davis Health is studying whether it can reduce the amount of anesthetic gas used during surgery. The academic health center provides anesthesiologists with feedback on gas flow rates and gas usage via an online dashboard to help reduce emissions.

People getting off a bus at UC Davis Medical Center

New Elk Grove Express Bus to UC Davis Medical Center

UC Davis Health partnered with its local transit district to launch an express bus service at no cost to its students and employees.


A line graph depicts energy use intensity over time. The energy use intensity at UCD Health in 2022 of 200.07 was below the annual target of 229.74.

Calendar Year
EUI (kBtu/Sqft)

UC Davis Health saw a decrease in its EUI in 2022.


Assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables

of food and beverage purchases met sustainability criteria ($3.4M)


of food and beverage purchases were plant-based ($2.9M)

Uncharacteristically severe weather conditions early in the year affected the majority of local farmers’ crops and thus impacted overall spring local produce attainment by UC Davis Health. As a result, total local procurement decreased by 2%. However, UC Davis Health increased procurement of organic fruits and vegetables by approaching local farmers directly and adapting menus according to seasonal food availability. Also, Dining included new sustainable products that pivoted results favorably last year.

Green building

UC Davis is making consistent strides in increasing the number of LEED certified buildings on campus. UC Davis Health constructed one new LEED building and earned one Gold certification for a renovation, totaling two LEED certifications in fiscal year 2022–23. Since 2007 UC Davis campus and health center have certified 31 newly constructed buildings, 12 interior renovation projects and 14 existing buildings for a total of 57 LEED projects. The UC Davis Health campus has three all-electric buildings occupied and two under construction.

1 Platinum, 8 Gold

Total number of LEED certifications


Icon of cyclist

of students and employees are utilizing alternative commuting methods

Icon of electric charging

EV charging ports

Icon of electric vehicle

of all vehicles acquired in 2023 were electric (zero-emission), plug-in hybrid or clean transportation fuel

UC Davis Health and its Green Commuter Program continue to create community, provide education and develop programs to facilitate positive behavior change related to transportation. In fiscal year 2022–23, UC Davis Health opened two new bike shelters, offering secure parking for over 100 additional bikes. The program started hosting Transit Field Trips and provided low-cost helmets for employees and free helmets for students. Additionally, a sustainable transportation newsletter is digitally distributed monthly to increase communication and outreach. The UC Davis Health campus is expanding its daily parking options by including reserved and premium locations. Shift work, office site relocation and hybrid commuters pose new barriers to sustainable commutes, and UC Davis Health is working to offer flexibility in commute choices.


A bar graph depicts water use. In fiscal year 2023, UCD Health used 433 gallons per person which is below the 2025 goal of a 36% reduction from the baseline of 463 gallons per person.

Fiscal Year
Gallons per capita

*Based on a 3-year average of fiscal years 2005-08

**2025 goal is a 36% reduction from baseline

UC Davis Health reduced its annual water use by 27 million gallons, or 13%, by using smart controllers to limit turf irrigation, upgrading autoclaves to reduce steam use and eliminating single-pass cooling on medical equipment.


A stacked bar graph depicts waste generated over time. In fiscal year 2023, UC Davis Health generated 18.65 pounds per person per day of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), 9.15 pounds per person per day of Recycling, 1.46 pounds per person per day of Compost, 1.78 pounds per person per day of Regulated Medical Waste.

Fiscal Year

*Per capita figures are calculated using Adjusted Patient Day (APD)

**Data provided if not counted in other waste streams

In the past fiscal year, UC Davis Health continued to focus on a number of waste-reducing tasks, including electronic prescribing, double-sided printing, piloting a program for reusing isolation gowns, continuing to lessen red bag waste, recycling blue wrap and transitioning from disposable to reusable mops. Additionally, UC Davis Health is repurposing unused instruments and supplies by collecting opened and expired medical instruments, equipment and supplies for reuse and redistribution through the Second Breath program.


UC Davis Health was the proud recipient of many Practice Greenhealth awards in 2023, including the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award.

A full list of awards is featured on the UC Office of the President’s website.

Combined Data

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