Everyone is uniquely motivated and passionate about different sustainability topics. Some of our staff want to generate cost savings for their department, some recycle every item in the correct bin no matter what, and others just want to do what’s right or what policy dictates. Our goal is to provide best practice sharing to standardize sustainability across all departments, and have created committees in several areas of our operations.
If you are interested in joining any of the working groups please send an email to [email protected] or reach out to one of our sustainability contacts.
- Sustainability Steering Committee
- Our sustainability steering committee consists of senior leadership in the hospital system and meets monthly for updates on the progress of the other committees. The team consists of subject matter experts from environmental services, materials management, transportation, nursing, facilities, construction, and procurement offers guidance for ongoing projects and disseminates information back to their respective departments.
- Greening the OR
- Our greening the OR program consists of several working groups. At the top, an executive steering committee meets quarterly to offer guidance to our project working groups. Our working groups are specialized in several areas: perioperative temperature management, waste and recycling, and anesthetic gases that meet monthly. There is also a UC-wide initiative chaired by Seema Ghandi, MD, a UCSF anesthesiologist that shares best practices among all UC OR staff and benchmarks the UC health systems’ anesthetic gas data.
- Greening the Labs
- Labs are also very resource-intensive areas of the hospital. Ventilation from lab hoods and equipment use large amounts of energy, and testing generates significant amounts of biohazardous waste. Our Greening the Labs team meets quarterly and seeks to educate all staff on the positive impact they can have by adopting sustainability practices into their workflows.
- Energy & water
- Utilities like energy and water are a costly part of our operations budget. They also directly impact our carbon footprint. This working group that meets monthly is devoted to mitigating the environmental impacts of our utilities and identifying new projects our facilities team can undertake to improve our performance.
- Climate Mitigation & Resilience
- Understanding the impacts our most vulnerable populations will experience from climate change is important to UCLA Health. We are working to mitigate our operational impacts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, and partnering with key stakeholders like the Fielding Center for Healthy Climate Solutions on resiliency planning.
- Zero waste
- Our Zero Waste task force meets monthly and consists of members from our Environmental Services, Nutrition, and Nursing departments. We also have a dedicated single-use plastics workgroup that is focused on meeting the single-use plastics policy guidelines.
- Nutrition & Wellness
- Our nutrition team meets monthly to discuss plant-forward menu options, health beverages, and reduction of single-use plastics in our cafeterias. They’re critical in educating our patients and visitors on the importance of sustainability in our food choices, and help plan our annual Earth Day events.
- Sustainable Procurement
- Sustainability is an important part of the evaluation process of our product evaluation and value analysis committees that meet monthly. 15% of the decision is weighted for sustainability criteria. We evaluate our vendors corporate social responsibility performance as well as the product life-cycle impact category level to ensure products aren’t generating excess waste or contain chemicals of concern.
- Nurses are on the front-lines of healthcare and are able to provide feedback on how programs are working as well as what needs improvement. This working group meets monthly and has connected nursing champions from each of our units to empower them to share best practices and monitor the progress of our programs.
- Physicians are powerful advocates for sustainability initiatives and can connect the dots between planetary and human health with our patients. Our physicians committee meets monthly and seeks to encourage senior leadership’s engagement and participation in our ongoing sustainability initiatives.
- Medical students
- The next generation of physicians are just as important as the ones currently practicing medicine. Our medical students are engaged in changing the curriculum to include sustainability and climate-related content, as well as conducting an annual sustainability benchmarking survey to compare the progress against other academic research centers.
- Department Liaison's Program
- Want to be the sustainability champion in your department that is the go-to person for the latest and greatest in all things sustainability at UCLA Health? Sign up to be a liaison by sending your contact info and department details to [email protected].