UC Davis Health among world’s first health care organizations to make Race to Zero emissions commitment

Sustainability Director Colleen McCormick represents U.S. at May 26 launch event


UC Davis Health, as a member of Health Care Without Harm’s Health Care Climate Challenge, announced yesterday (May 26) that it has joined the United Nations Climate Champion Race to Zero campaign. By joining the Race to Zero, UC Davis Health is committed to halving greenhouse gas emissions throughout its entire operations by 2030 and achieving net-zero by no later than 2050.

Solar panels, like the ones atop Parking Structure 3, provide a zero-emissions source of energy.

The U.N. Race to Zero initiative is the largest alliance of non-government organizations committed to reducing climate pollution. Alongside nearly 40 health care institutions in 17 countries (representing over 3,000 health care facilities), UC Davis Health is among the first group of organizations in the sector to pledge contributions toward that global zero-carbon vision.

“As the crises of the past year have shown, the health of our planet and the health of human populations are closely intertwined,” said Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences and UC Davis Health CEO Dr. David Lubarsky. “As an organization and as a sector we need to do more to ensure a safer, cleaner and more sustainable world – and through Race to Zero, we are fully committed to helping speed the transition to a zero-carbon economy and a resilient, prosperous, and healthy future. Research has repeatedly shown environmental conditions are one of the social determinants of health, and we are committed to doing our part to promote good health for the globe.”

UC Davis Health Director of Sustainability Colleen McCormick, who will lead the health system’s efforts in attaining those emissions goals, spoke as the representative of the U.S. contingent during a virtual launch on May 26.

The event was hosted by Health Care Without Harm’s Health Care Climate Challenge, established in 2015 at the Paris Climate Conference to mobilize health care institutions around the world to address the climate crisis.

“We look forward to collaborating across UC Davis Health to reduce fossil fuel dependence wherever and whenever we can,” McCormick said. “By joining this effort, we will draw on the collective wisdom and experiences of organizations around the globe, adopting best practices for the benefit and health of our communities and the planet.”