In fiscal year 2022–23, various groups across UCSF actively engaged staff and learners to support strong sustainability and climate action.

The Academic Senate hosted a town hall on sustainability titled “From Carbon Neutrality to Decarbonization — UCSF Opportunities” and a video was created to share broadly. Senior Vice Chancellor Erin Gore created the Fossil-Free Governance Committee to lead the $1.5 million state-funded decarbonization study.

Read More about Sustainability at UC San Francisco

Facilities Services implemented a SMART Labs project, LED lighting retrofits, metering and building controls. Facilities, Procurement and Sustainability partnered to expand the ultra-low-temperature freezer rebate program. UCSF Sustainability, Academic Senate and Transportation developed strategies to reduce business travel, increase the zero-carbon commute rate and install more electric vehicle charging stations. UCSF Real Estate designed a new hospital and research building to be 92% carbon-free while an all-electric parking garage and the Bayfront Medical Building will open in fiscal year 2024 with 100% clean power.

UCSF is the home of the UC Center for Climate, Health and Equity, which seeks to incorporate climate and health into the UC health curricula, and the EaRTH Center, which works to accelerate the discovery of harmful exposures and preventive solutions to improve health across the lifespan. In November 2022, UCSF staff made a presentation on taking action on climate to improve health“ at the 27th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Many UCSF stories are shared on the sustainability website. The Annual Sustainability Awards ceremony returned this year to celebrate the UCSF community members who remain committed to sustainability despite the pandemic. Last, the second annual Waste to Art Competition was held to highlight the problems of waste in health care and academia. 


A cyclist walking on a platform in a natural scene with flowers

UCSF Bicycle and Micromobility Plan

In its commitment to build sustainable practices into all operations, UCSF created its first Bicycle and Micromobility Plan. The plan serves as a blueprint to help the campus increase its bicycle and micromobility programming, raise the proportion of people using these modes and improve access to these options. The plan’s coordinating committee included 20 representatives from across the University and surveyed over 850 stakeholders.


A bar graph depicts emissions over time. In 2022, UCSF emitted 79260 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in Scope 1 Net Emissions, 261 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in Scope 2 Net Emissions, 30745 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in Scope 3 Net Emissions, 2116 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in Compliance Offsets.

Calendar Year
Metric Tons CO₂e in Thousands

* Interim goals for 2030, 2035 and 2040 to be developed through fossil-free planning that is underway at each location

** 90% direct reduction of total emissions from 2019 levels with residual emissions negated by carbon removal

Scope 1 emissions decreased in calendar year 2022 while, with the return to campus, scope 3 emissions increased as a result of greater commute and business travel (approximately 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and 700 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, respectively).


In 2022, UCSF used 99823 megawatt hours from Off-campus UC Clean Power Program, 106 megawatt hours from Off-campus Utility Programs, 2864 megawatt hours from On-campus Systems.

Calendar Year
Mwh/Year in Thousands


A line graph depicts energy use intensity over time. The energy use intensity at UCSF in 2022 of 152 was below the annual target of 180.08.

Calendar Year
EUI (kBtu/Sqft)

UCSF saw a decrease in its EUI in 2022.


Assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables

of food and beverage purchases met sustainability criteria ($520K)


of food and beverage purchases were plant-based ($361K)

UCSF’s retail food tenants experienced supply chain issues and challenges with the cost of sustainable food options. These tenants are recovering economically from the COVID years, adapting to changing demands due to patrons telecommuting and adopting different eating habits over the years (such as bringing food from home). UCSF’s sustainable food spend percentage of total food spend decreased 2.4% and may be affected by lack of supply or increased costs.

Green building

UCSF completed construction of its first Parksmart garage and is seeking Silver certification pending final documentation submittal in fiscal year 2023–24. The Bayfront Medical Building is an outpatient surgery center and clinic scheduled for completion and LEED Gold certification in fiscal year 2023–24.

16 Gold, 6 Silver and 5 Certified

Total number of LEED certifications


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green spend on electronics (45%)

Icon of cleaning supplies

green spend on cleaning supplies (53%)

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green spend on indoor office furniture (96%)

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green spend on office supplies (58%)

The University reports on green spend, as defined in the Sustainable Procurement Guidelines, and reached out to suppliers for spend data in four product categories for this year’s report.

Green spend is defined as meeting preferred or minimum criteria in UC’s Sustainable Procurement Guidelines.
Suppliers reporting: Electronics (7), Furniture (3), Cleaning supplies (4), Office supplies (3).
UC Systemwide Spend Analytics category data provided by CalUSource.

Sustainable Building & Laboratory Operations

With its new Thermo Fisher funds, UCSF has signed up six labs to be Green Certified. UCSF is pushing for procurement restrictions that stop labs from purchasing non-Energy Star -80°C freezers. This restriction aligns with UCSF’s energy conservation policy. UCSF hopes to accelerate the replacement of all non-Energy Star -80°C freezers by enhancing its current rebates by next year.

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total assessed green laboratories


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of students and employees are utilizing alternative commuting methods

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EV charging ports

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

Scope 3 transportation emissions grew due to increases in commute (approximately 6000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) and business travel (approximately 700 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions with the return to on-campus activities.


A bar graph depicts water use. In fiscal year 2023, UCSF used 7359 gallons per person which is below the 2025 goal of a 36% reduction from the baseline of 11466 gallons per person.

Fiscal Year
Thousands of gallons per capita

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

**2025 goal is a 36% reduction from baseline

UCSF’s water use per capita in fiscal year 2022–23 was 59% lower than its baseline, representing an increase in water savings from last year.


A stacked bar graph depicts waste generated over time. In fiscal year 2023, UCSF generated 0.54 pounds per person per day of Recycling, 0.36 pounds per person per day of Organics, 0 pounds per person per day of Allowable Residual Conversion, 0.43 pounds per person per day of Landfill*.

Fiscal Year

*These numbers might include a small amount of incineration that is being phased out.

UCSF’s total waste generated decreased due to the closing and consolidation of a few buildings where staff have mostly transitioned to hybrid or permanent remote status.


A line graph depicts the percentage of waste diverted over time. In fiscal year 2023, UCSF diverted 73% with no construction and demolition, and 74% with municipal solid waste and construction and demolition, which is below the goal of diverting 90% of municipal solid waste.

Fiscal Year
Percent Diverted

*Waste incineration was counted as diversion prior to July 2022.

UCSF’s waste diversion rate (without construction and demolition) fell 2% as labs increased activity in contrast with offices and event spaces. A pilot project to address lab plastics and increase waste diversion within the labs will be expanded in the coming year. The construction and demolition diversion rate likely decreased due to the completion of a number of large projects that diverted a lot of materials in previous years.


UCSF received recognition as a Best Workplace for Commuters in 2022.

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