UCLA Health is committed to achieving the University’s sustainability goals. As UCLA Health strives to meet its waste reduction goal of 25 pounds per adjusted patient day, the health center implemented a blue wrap recycling program to collect sterile surgical wrap and increased collection of single-use devices to promote a circular economy.
In fiscal year 2022–23, the UCLA Health dining commons installed public hydration stations to provide water access to all guests and decrease the use of disposable water bottles. The UCLA Health zero waste website went live with information for staff to better divert their specialty and universal waste from the landfill. Stakeholders convened to evaluate nitrous oxide usage, committing to reduce usage by 5%, further assess and expand the transition from piped infrastructure to canister and identify operating room energy reduction opportunities.
Read More about Sustainability at UCLA Health
The Food Services and Nutrition team continues to innovate its procurement practices, achieving 34% sustainable food spend in fiscal year 2022–23. UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center staff commute to work with zero-emission vehicles — 174 more staff than the previous fiscal year, supported by efforts to increase EV charging stations. UCLA Health waste diversion remained steady at 26%, while efforts to increase recycling resulted in 287,000 more pounds of recycling. Per the White House/HHS Climate Pledge, UCLA Health’s Sustainability Dashboard reports on greenhouse gas emissions in relation to its goal to reduce emissions 50% by 2030. UCLA Health is working toward an equity-centered climate resiliency plan by the end of 2023 as an additional element of the White House/HHS Climate Pledge.
UCLA Health Climate Action Fellow Proposes an Analysis To Reduce Emissions Related to Employee Commuting
UCLA Health’s 2022–23 Climate Action Fellow evaluated employee commuting data to provide evidence of greenhouse gas emissions and a roadmap for increased alternative commuting support.
In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the operating rooms, UCLA Health performed an assessment to retrofit lighting fixtures with new LED bulbs. The first two operating rooms to undergo lighting updates will save an estimated 5.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. It is expected that, once completed, the project will save 45.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.
of food and beverage purchases met sustainability criteria ($3.5M)
of food and beverage purchases were plant-based ($2.3M)
UCLA Health Food Services and Nutrition increased sustainable food procurement by over $1 million. The Food Services team is dedicated to sourcing sustainable and antibiotic-free meat, fish and poultry, such as Monterey Bay Aquarium sustainable salmon. Plant-based food procurement is also an area of focus — UCLA Health’s salad bar reopened in the dining commons with no meat options. Plant-forward menu options include alternative meats and vegan milk offered in the cafe.
UCLA Health Transportation is increasing awareness of alternative transportation benefits offered by UCLA. Employees who commute by methods other than single-occupancy gasoline vehicles can benefit from reduced bus fares, bicycle reimbursements and carpool parking credits. In fiscal year 2022–23, UCLA Health Santa Monica Medical Center saw a 132% increase in employees commuting with zero-emission vehicles (ZEV). Compared with fiscal year 2021–22, 174 more employees are driving ZEVs — reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 1.3 million pounds per year.
UCLA Health’s vehicle acquisitions are reported by campus.
of employees at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital are utilizing alternative commuting methods (Ronald Reagan Hospital data is reported with campus)
EV charging ports
ZERO WASTE – GeneratION
*Per capita figures are calculated using Adjusted Patient Day (APD)
**Data provided if not counted in other waste streams
UCLA Health implemented programs in fiscal year 2022–23 to increase recycling by over 287,000 pounds. Efforts such as reprocessing medical devices, laundering isolation gowns, and cardboard and pallet recycling contributed to the gains. These efforts have saved over 85 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from being emitted into the atmosphere. In fiscal year 2022–23, UCLA Health accumulated 28 total pounds of waste per adjusted patient day and is working toward a goal of 25 pounds per adjusted patient day.
UCLA 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 are reported by the campus location: