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Leadership message: Sustainability progress at UC Davis Health

Dear Colleagues,

April is the month we celebrate and honor Earth Day. While providing equitable access to health care, we must also promote the whole health of our planet. That’s why UC Davis Health is committed to reducing waste and increasing the sustainability of our organization. Nationwide, we are a recognized leader in creating more sustainable practices. We are among the Top 25 hospitals in the country for environmental sustainability by Practice Greenhealth for two years in a row.  UC Davis Health was also honored with the Greening the OR Recognition Award, the health system’s third time receiving the award. 

Additionally, UC Davis Health received five designations in the Circles of Excellence, which honors up to 10 of the highest performing hospitals nationwide in various areas of sustainability. These areas included sustainable procurement, water, transportation, green building, and food.

These awards reflect the work of many individuals throughout our organization. At our most recent Sustainability Summit, we recognized sustainability leaders and progress throughout UC Davis Health, including using reusable isolation gowns in the pediatric intensive care unit and the emergency department, vastly reducing greenhouse gases produced during anesthesia, reducing energy consumption in operating rooms, and driving change throughout our clinics.

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Each of these breakthroughs began with a suggestion from a UC Davis Health physician, nurse, faculty member, student, or staff member. To generate new waves of change, the newly formed Clinical Practice Council Sustainability Subcommittee launched the Sustainability Suggestion Box. Use it to share your ideas for creating more sustainable practices at UC Davis Health. Read more about the Sustainability Suggestion Box at, or scan this QR code.

We invite you to recycle here and at home! This month, Environmental Services announced a completely re-engineered recycling program. Led by project manager Julianna Moore, the planning and implementation of this program is a vast improvement that addresses every step that an item takes, from the moment you recycle the material until it reaches our waste partner Republic Services’ recycling plant. Learn more by watching the walk-through with Julianna.

Finally, join us for the Earth Month Celebration Event on the UC Davis Health campus in the Education Building Quad from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 17. Stop and pick up free produce from local farmers, meet our sustainability partners, take a free yoga class on the lawn at 12:10 p.m., and learn about more programs taking place across campus. 

Sustainability is the responsibility of everyone in our organization, and many of you are leading by joining the Sustainability Committee and getting involved. If you are interested in helping, please email me at

We appreciate your efforts to reduce waste and to be a more sustainable member of our community at home and at work. Thank you!

Yours in health, 

Kristina Cullen

Kristina Cullen

Director of Sustainability
UC Davis Health