Work Groups are the life blood of a sustainability program, as they back away from the formal committee activities to engage those who actually make things happen, where “the rubber meets the road," if you will.

There is currently one formal Work Group and several informal groups/gatherings. Work is underway to provide structure and support to the informal groups.

Several projects have been initiated by this Work Group, including lighting upgrades/retrofits to products that are much more energy efficient. Such projects range from changing parking lot lights from High Intensity Discharge units to LED units, to relamping buildings with lower energy fluorescent lamps. Infrastructure projects include improvements to the steam distribution system and chilled water system, both of which are significant energy users, and, potentially, wasters. A continuation of a sitewide utility metering project will use utility metering and the EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager to evaluate and identify areas where energy conservation can be pursued.  A pilot program to retrofit the lighting in ACC Cardiology Clinic to LEDs will soon begin construction.

Other Collaborations

Food & Nutrition Services

Foremost among the “informal” work groups is that of Food & Nutrition Services. FN&S has teamed with food services groups at UC San Francisco and UCLA Medical Centers to establish criteria for sustainability plans, which include the procurement of products from sustainable sources, community outreach, and working toward third party “green” certification. 

Linen Task Force

Led by Materiel Management’s Troy Taylor and Operating Room Business Manager Sally Lee, the multidisciplinary Linen Task Force (LTF) is investigating means by which linen costs can be reduced, which generally includes sustainable practices. The first success story was the reduction in patient linen changes, going from “daily” to “as needed”; as one could imagine, this led to a significant reduction in linen use. The LTF is currently transitioning units from disposable to reusable pillows, and is also investigating the use of reusable warmup jackets in place of the current disposables. Much of this work is summarized in a poster session (PDF) presented by Taylor and Lee at the 2013 UHC Conference.  UCDMC is also in the final stages of establishing a reusable Isolation Gown program, modeled after the successful effort at UCLA.

Stay tuned for information on additional Work Groups and Collaborations.