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Recent events — including extreme drought and flooding, rampaging wildfires, and rising sea levels — illustrate the dire need for us to take collective responsibility to tackle the climate crisis.  

University of California accepts this responsibility and has been working toward ambitious sustainability goals for more than a decade. In 2004, the University adopted the Presidential Policy on Green Building Design and Clean Energy Standards. This policy is the basis of UC’s long-term commitment to sustainability.  

UC’s sustainability efforts include all 10 campuses, six academic health centers, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the UC Office of the President. 

UC’s sustainability scope includes the following areas:  

  • Climate protection 
  • Transportation 
  • Sustainable building operations 
  • Zero waste 
  • Procurement 
  • Food 
  • Water  
  • Health care facilities 

Through these goals, UC continues to lead the way toward a cleaner, more resilient and more equitable future for all.  

Sustainability Goals 

By 2045, all 10 campuses and six academic health centers will use 100% carbon-free electricity and will be accelerating efforts to eliminate their remaining sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 90% of scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions elimination from operations, including at medical facilities
  • 10% through carbon removal

In addition to the clean energy and lower emission goals, UC Health locations are working toward:

  • Higher building standards: meeting or exceeding efficiency targets based on ASHRAE standards specified in the UC policy for new construction or major renovations for acute care facilities and medical office buildings 
  • Less waste: targeting 25 pounds of total waste per adjusted patient day by 2025 and striving for 20 pounds by 2030
  • Reduced water use: decreasing growth-adjusted potable water consumption by 36% by 2025
  • Healthier, more environmentally friendly food: procuring 30% sustainable food by 2030

Progress to Date  

UC has continued to make steady progress toward our sustainability goals over the years, as documented in our annual Sustainability Report


Tracking UC greenhouse emissions as part of climate protection  
Tracking UC greenhouse emissions as part of climate protection  
The projected path for UC to become carbon neutral by 2025 

University of California Sustainability Report 

Each year, we report on our progress toward our sustainability goals, including data for the system and individual campuses and academic health centers. We invite you to learn more about our efforts — and join us. 

Explore the University of California Sustainability Annual Report website

Using Research to Solve Our Most Pressing Needs 

Collaborative research across the University of California aims to address the state’s environmental and climate needs. These efforts include extensive research across the system into the health effects of climate change and wildfires. Research into environmental issues is only one aspect of UCH’s cross-system collaborative research efforts.  

Learn more about how UCH research is improving patient care across California.  

 Improving Patient Care Across California  

University of California Health physicians and researchers are on the front lines of addressing today’s pressing health needs — from treating the health effects from climate change, fighting COVID-19 or tackling health disparities. UCH physicians and researchers exchange knowledge across our academic health centers to improve health for all Californians.  

Find out how academic medicine improves patient care.