Sustainability Practices

UC San Diego Health is committed to responsible stewardship of resources and to demonstrating leadership in sustainable business practices.

We have established goals in nine areas of sustainable practices: green building, clean energy, transportation, climate protection, sustainable operations, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable procurement, sustainable food service, and sustainable water systems.

Recognizing the substantial impact that procurement decisions have on the environment, society, and the economy, the University of California will maximize its procurement of sustainable products and services. The goals will be applied within the constraints of research needs and budgetary requirements and in compliance with all applicable rules, regulations, and laws.More About Sustainability at UC San Diego Health

Sustainable Procurement Goals

  • Provide healthy and accessible conditions for the community. Where functional alternatives to harmful products or impacts exist, they are to be strongly preferred.
  • Reduce unnecessary purchasing, prioritize the purchase of surplus or multiple-use products, and look at recyclable or compostable products.
  • Integrate sustainability into its processes and practices, including competitive solicitations.
  • Work with suppliers to achieve greater transparency and sustainable outcomes throughout the supply chain. This includes supplier reporting on their sustainable business operations and products or services provided.

Sustainable Procurement Guidelines

Suppliers doing business with UC San Diego Health will conduct business using environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable products and services, to the maximum possible extent consistent with the University of California Sustainable Practices Policy and the University of California Sustainable Procurement Guidelines.

In accordance with the University of California Sustainable Practices Policy, Supplier will adhere to the following requirements and standards, as applicable:

  1. Sustainability Marketing Standards. Supplier sustainability-related claims, where applicable, must meet UC-recognized certifications and standards set forth in the UC Sustainable Procurement Guidelines and/or meet the standards of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Green Guides.
  2. Electronic Transfer of Supplier Information. Suppliers shall be prohibited from providing hard copies of presentations, marketing material, or other informational materials.
  3. Chemicals of Concern: Where applicable, products and packaging shall be free of hazardous additives, including those mixed into the product and those used as surface treatments unless no feasible alternative exists, and it is determined that the benefit outweighs the risk. Products and packaging should strive to meet all eleven of the Kaiser Permanente Chemicals of Concern Criteria, including, but not limited to:
    1. Cadmium, mercury, lead, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers – All homogenous electronic parts are compliant with all European Union Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (EU RoHS) Directive’s restricted limits (excluding exemptions).
    2. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – Does not contain PVC.
    3. Prop 65 Chemicals – Does not contain intentionally added chemicals listed by the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm that require warning or are prohibited from release to the environment under the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). If products contain Prop 65 chemicals, the supplier must disclose the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) #'s.
    4. Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs) – All homogeneous materials must contain less than 1000 ppm of PBTs.
    5. Organ halogen-based chemicals (bromine, chlorine, fluorine, and iodine.
    6. Antimicrobial/antibacterial agents – Does not contain intentionally added antimicrobial/antibacterial agents to reduce surface pathogens.
  4. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Suppliers may be required to provide an analysis of cost that considers not only purchase price, but also any costs associated with the acquisition, use, and disposal of the product. These costs may include some or all the following: freight, taxes and fees, installation, operational energy and water use, maintenance, warranty, collection, end-of-life disposal or recycling, as well as social or environmental costs, such as the cost of purchasing pollution offsets or monitoring labor practices.
  5. Hosted and Punch-out Catalog Requirements. Suppliers enabled with eProcurement hosted catalog functionality must clearly identify products with UC-recognized certifications, as defined by the UC Sustainable Procurement Guidelines, in both hosted and punch-out catalog e-procurement environments, with a preference for “market basket” lists that meet Required and Preferred spend levels and can be used as a tool for increasing the purchase of sustainable products at competitive and affordable prices.
  6. Packaging Requirements. All packaging must be compliant with the Toxics in Packaging Prevention Act (AB 455) and must meet all additional standards and requirements set forth in the UC Sustainable Practices Policy. In addition, UC requires that all packaging meet at least one of the criteria listed below:
    1. Uses bulk packaging;
    2. Uses reusable packaging
    3. Uses innovative packaging that reduces the weight of packaging, reduces packaging waste, or utilizes packaging that is a component of the product;
    4. Maximizes recycled content and/or meets or exceeds the minimum post-consumer content level for packaging in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines
    5. Uses locally recyclable or certified compostable material.
  7. Foodservice Foam Ban. The University no longer allows packaging foam or expanded polystyrene (EPS) for takeaway containers or other food service items, in any University-owned or -operated food service facility.
  8. Product Packaging Foam Ban. The University prohibits all contracted and non-contracted suppliers from selling or distributing packaging foam to UC campuses. Not included in this ban are easily biodegradable, plant-based foams such as those derived from corn or mushrooms.
  9. E-Waste Recycling Requirements. All recyclers of UC electronic equipment must be e-Steward certified by the Basel Action Network (BAN).