We can’t have a healthy population without a healthy planet, and we know that our most vulnerable patients are most impacted by environmental health inequities.
University of Utah Health develops sustainable approaches to care that meet the health needs of people today and future generations. We are committed to:
- providing compassionate care in the most environmentally sound ways possible,
- preparing our facilities and care providers to be resilient in the face of climate-related changes and events, and
- empowering future health care providers with education and research on sustainable health care.
Our Sustainability Commitments
As a part of the University of Utah and the President’s Climate Leadership Commitment, we are committed to achieving carbon neutrality with a target date of 2040.
U of U Health also took the Health and Human Services Climate Pledge. Through this pledge, we will pursue carbon neutrality by 2040, create a climate resilience continuous operations plan by the end of 2023, and inventory supply chain (Scope 3) emissions by the end of 2024.
Our Sustainable Operations Initiatives
Here are just a few of the ways that we are strengthening our commitment to environmental and sustainability efforts.
Improving energy efficiency reduces emissions and enhances our local air quality.
Accomplishment: Since 2016, our Energy & Sustainability Coordinator has helped save enough energy to power 2,617 homes for a whole year every year.
Ongoing: Starting in 2021, we have identified hospitals and clinics within U of U Health that are eligible for energy optimization projects, with the goal to reduce Energy Use Intensity (EUI).
Greening the OR
Focusing on sustainability in the operating room helps us improve patient care, decreases waste, and reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Accomplishment: In 2021, U of U Health received the Go Clear Award for OR smoke evacuation.
Ongoing: We aim to reduce emissions from anesthetic gases by 50 percent by 2025 with minimized use of desflurane.
We reduce the waste stream and impacts from our supply chain by considering
product disposal, and
product function and relevance.
Ongoing: We are increasing the number of reusable vs. disposable items.
Ensuring no food goes to waste and obtaining food sustainably and locally helps us reduce emissions from food waste in landfill and builds up our community.
Accomplishment: We reduced food waste diversion through Lean Path, composted food scraps, and donated to FeedU Food Pantry.
Ongoing: We will increase sustainable food procurement from 7 percent to 20 percent by 2025.
Incorporating sustainable design principles into new construction, ensures our clinics and hospitals can best meet the health needs of patients now and in the future.
Accomplishment: Area E and Craig Nielsen Rehab Hospital are both LEED Silver.
Ongoing: Our new West Valley Campus aims for LEED silver and is identifying opportunities to electrify our heating and cooling systems to reduce emissions. We aim for this to be one of the most sustainable hospitals in Utah.
Reducing waste through landfill diversion and upstream purchasing practices allows us to mitigate our impact on the environment.
Ongoing: Our goal is to divert as much waste as possible through improved purchasing, reprocessing, composting, and recycling.
Minimizing water use wherever possible helps us to conserve this precious resource.
Ongoing: We are working to identify opportunities to convert grass to water-wise landscaping around our hospitals and clinics.
Renewables provide over 50 percent of the university's electricity.
Ongoing: Our goal is to source 75 percent of our power from renewables by 2025. Check out the University Energy & sustainability Teams' work.