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Sustainability Initiatives and Community Participation

People and communities are at the heart of all that we do at UPMC. The new Center for Sustainability is maximizing the impact of initiatives for our people and our communities.

Our Sustainability Center

The new UPMC Center for Sustainability is designed for long-term success in achieving our sustainability goals. Our work includes:

  • Creating sustainability teams at each of our 40 hospitals. The center is developing new teams, promoting existing teams, and collaborating with all to roll out initiatives across the system.
  • Creating sustainability working groups and coordinating with service lines in the areas of:
    • Environmental services
    • Food service
    • Surgical services
    • Sustainable models of care
    • Transportation
    • Facilities
    • Supply chain
  • Developing a strategic plan with input from all teams and UPMC Center for Sustainability staff. The strategic plan will have a timeline and measurable goals to achieve along our path to net-zero.

Government and Nonprofit Partners

Our government and nonprofit partners include:

  • US Department of Energy Better Building Challenge.
  • US Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
  • Practice Green Health.
  • Pittsburgh 2030
  • Erie 2030.
  • Sustainable Pittsburgh.
  • CEOs for Sustainability.
  • Sustainable Business Compact.
  • Southwestern Pa Commission Transportation Initiatives.
  • Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities.
  • And many others.

Environmental Firsts

  • UPMC was the first health care organization to go smoke free across all facilities and during all shifts.
  • UPMC was the first regional health care organization to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Energy on developing a health care energy efficiency program.
  • UPMC was the first health care organization in the nation to insert a clean construction requirement into construction requests for proposals and contracts.

Within the UPMC system:

  • UPMC East was the first regional LEED certified hospital built from the ground up.
  • UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh was the first LEED certified built hospital in Pennsylvania.
  • UPMC cafeterias were the first hospital commercial food services to sign on to Allegheny County’s Living Well Initiative.
  • UPMC received the highest level of the Sustainable Pittsburgh Business Compact in 2014.
  • UPMC was the first and largest tenant to renovate all of its floors in the US Steel Tower. This contributed to the US Steel Tower achieving Energy Star rating.

Community Impact

  • Multiple UPMC hospital and retail pharmacies participate in the annual National Drug Take Back Days. On average, the US Department of Justice events collect 0.5 tons of unwanted medications each year and offer environmentally sound disposal.
  • At least 3 facilities (UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, UPMC St. Margaret, and UPMC Shadyside) offering continuous unwanted medicine collection.
  • Multiple UPMC locations offer continuous collection of eyeglasses for Lions Club International.
  • UPMC has co-sponsored Pennsylvania Resource Council’s (PRC) household hazardous waste collections in select communities over multiple years.
  • UPMC has co-sponsored PRC’s community-based reusable material collection events over multiple years.
  • UPMC supports the Engineering Sustainability Conference, a biannual event sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.
  • UPMC sponsors community gardens and green space projects in multiple communities.

Our Employees

UPMC’s sustainability initiatives are receiving new attention thanks to the efforts of a new group of caring physicians and employees. Clinicians for Climate Action began in 2022, and less than a year later has more than 500 members.  

The UPMC-wide group is now an important part of shaping priorities of the new UPMC Center for Sustainability, as are the hospital-based sustainability teams.  

Contact Us

Learn more about UPMC’s sustainability initiatives. Contact the UPMC Center for Sustainability by email.