In fiscal year 2022–23, UCI Health maintained its commitment to sustainability. Accomplishments include continued progress on constructing the nation’s first all-electric medical center and receipt of Practice Greenhealth’s Emerald Award for overall sustainability practices. Additionally, UCI Health received the Circle of Excellence award in the categories of reducing carbon and energy.
UCI Health continued its efforts to meet commitments for the White House/HHS Climate Pledge to reduce emissions 50% by 2030. This involved reducing anesthetic gases 10% and nitrous oxide 8% from last fiscal year. Cross-organizational stakeholders worked together to identify opportunities for reduction and implement strategies, including transitioning from piped nitrous oxide to canister in all operating rooms, as well as removing the piped system from the new hospital design.
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Additionally, UCI Health kicked off a decarbonization study to determine how to reduce scope 1 emissions; decommissioned a fossil-fuel energy source, resulting in a 30% reduction in natural gas consumption; and supplied zero-carbon electricity to all UCI Health-owned facilities and 90% of leased spaces.
For food service and waste, one major achievement in the past year has been removing all single-use plastic bottles from every retail space. Previously, more than 20,000 bottles of water, juices, sodas and protein shakes were sold every month in plastic bottles. Now those beverages are sold in aluminum cans and glass bottles. After a successful introduction, plant-based meals became a regular part of the menu. UCI Health spent approximately 25% of its food budget on sustainable products. Additionally, UCI Health continues to expand its food waste to animal feed program. Each month, on average, it donates 2,000 pounds of pre-consumer food waste to be converted to animal feed.
UCI Health is committed to ensuring that resilience and equity are accounted for in climate action plans and organizational strategies. In partnership with the main campus, UCI Health conducted outreach and engaged students and marginalized communities in supporting equity-centered climate resilience planning efforts and developing a plan by December 2023.
UCI Medical Center in Irvine is designed, positioned and built to preserve the nearby San Joaquin Marsh Reserve and reduce the facility’s solar gain — its increase in temperature or thermal energy due to absorption of sunlight — by 85%. It will be the first medical center in the country to operate on an all-electric central plant.
Energy Use Intensity
UC Irvine Health saw an increase in its EUI in 2022.
of food and beverage purchases met sustainability criteria ($1.3M)
of food and beverage purchases were plant-based ($1.1M)
UCI Health procured over $5.4 million of food and beverage products in fiscal year 2022–23. Of that spend, $1.3 million (24%) was on sustainable food and $1.1 million (21%) was on plant-based products.
of employees are utilizing alternative commuting methods
EV charging ports
of all vehicles acquired in 2023 were electric (zero-emission), plug-in hybrid or clean transportation fuel
In fiscal year 2022–23, UCI Health added one new electric vehicle to its fleet population. The percentage of commuters traveling by alternative means increased in the past year. To support those investing in EVs, UCI Health installed 17 more EV charging ports.
*Based on a 3-year average of fiscal years 2005-08
**2025 goal is a 36% reduction from baseline
UCI Health reduced water usage by 51% from the policy-established baseline, remaining well above the 2025 reduction goal of 36%. In addition to reducing its total water use from the previous year, UCI Health’s water use per person decreased by 60 gallons in fiscal year 2022–23.
ZERO WASTE – GeneraTION
*Per capita figures are calculated using Adjusted Patient Day (APD)
**Data provided if not counted in other waste streams
While total waste per person rose by 6% from fiscal year 2021–22, UCI Health accomplished a higher diversion rate in fiscal year 2022–23, with 2.9 million pounds of waste being recycled or composted.
UC Irvine Health was the proud recipient of many Practice Greenhealth awards in 2023.
A full list of awards is featured on the UC Office of the President’s website.
Progress on the following policy areas for this Health System is reported by the campus location:
Image credit: CO Architects