Green U Health

Highlights on U Health partners


Miller Herb and Food Garden
How would you like to step out of your office or health care facility into the sunshine to find a food forest and herb garden awaiting you? Together with Dr. Christina Pozo-Kaderman, medical students, and dieticians, the Facilities and Operations Department and the Office of Sustainability have helped create an oasis of healing and support for the Cancer Support Services 'mission. 
Learn more

Adam Levi, President of the Student Green Committee at Miller, presenting "THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY GARDENS ON MEDICAL CAMPUSES: AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO DIET, HEALTH, AND ENGAGEMENT" at the Community Health Leadership Conference 2022.

Freezer Challenge 2021

The University of Miami’s Office of Sustainability challenges you to participate in the Freezer Challenge 2021!  The Freezer Challenge is a cold storage competition, on its fifth year, for laboratories run by the non-profit organizations My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL).  More detailed information at



Accelerating the Transition to Climate-Smart Health Care
Jessica Wolff, U.S. Director of Climate and Health, Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth.
Friday, July 17 from 8:30-9:30 a.m.  Recording of this Webinar is available HERE

Health care is on the frontlines of climate change, bearing the costs of increased diseases and more frequent, severe extreme weather events. It is critical that hospitals are able to care for people not only during and after extreme weather events, but also to address the social determinants of health to build resilient communities. Health care must also address its own footprint, which makes up nearly 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, with hospitals accounting for over one-third of those emissions. 

Health Care Without Harm works with hospitals across the country on climate solutions in a three-pillar framework of mitigation, resilience, and leadership. Come learn about how leading hospitals are implementing this approach and how you can support the transition to climate-smart health care.

Thursday, Jan. 30 at 12 p.m. at the Sylvester Support building (former name: MTSL) in Auditorium 110 on the 1st floor.

The healthcare industry—by reducing its environmental impact and promoting patients well-being—has become a full actor in the global movement for sustainability and environmental health in our communities. Join us on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 12 p.m. at the Sylvester Support building (former name: MTSL) in Auditorium 110 on the 1st floor. Jason Bell with Baptist Health Center for the Advancement of Learning, and Julie Moyle with Practice Green Health will be hosting the session. Julie will demonstrate  "The value of sustainability in Health Care", and Jason will explore “Connecting Sustainability to Employee and Community Engagement”

Food and beverages will be served. RSVP now!



In the middle of our very urban medical campus, right in front of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Med students and staff have volunteered to plant a butterfly garden. Relaxation spaces are essential to staff moral and students awareness. Patients and family members can reconnect with nature while they come for their treatment.

"In recent years, the effects of the physical environment on the healing process and well-being have proved to be increasingly relevant for patients and their families as well as for healthcare staff." Healing Environment: A review of the impact of physical environmental factors on users - E.R.C.M. Huisman; E.Morales; J.Van. Hoof; H.S.M. Kort

The food service department has launched a new program to eliminate all the styrofoam from the entire hospital system, including styrofoam cups and styrofoam trays from the hospitals. 
The new meditative butterfly garden at the Calder Library is growing and attracting biodiversity. It is one of the two pollinator havens on the Medical campus

If you are passionate about our environment and sustainability, if you want to join the team and bring your own expertise, please contact



Our goal is to increase our rate of waste diversion from landfills: between our single stream recycling, shredded PHI paper and other recycling stream, we re reaching a 26% diversion rate.

Single Stream Recycling
Most of our buildings have recycling receptacles. Download our Recycle Often, Recycle Right sign.


Toner Cartridges Recycling Programs: Learn more



With our consultants, we thrive in reducing our impact on the environment and especially in reducing our volume of Bio Hazard waste we generate (Red Bags)- Uhealth2018

 What waste that should go into Red Bags? redbag
> Items dripping with or saturated with blood and/or *body fluid OR caked with dried human blood.
> Items such as, dressings, chest drainage tubes, IV tubes filled with blood, Suction Canisters treated with solidifier, and blood and blood product bags.
*Body fluids are defined as blood and blood components, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial,
semen and vaginal secretions.  Feces, Urine, Vomit, Sputum, Sweat, and Tears are not disposed of as red bag waste unless there is visible signs of blood.

REMEMBER: 1 Lbs. of red bag waste is SEVEN TIMES the price of 1 Lbs. of regular trash. NON-CONTAMINATED WASTE should be tossed in a regular trash bin. 


Green Lab programIf you work in a lab, manage a lab, study in a lab, and you want to make it more sustainable, Green U is here to help! Learn more

Student Green Committee at Miller
If you are student in the School of Medicine, join our Green Team! In collaboration with Student Government, our group of 

passionate students promote current programs like the Green Lab program and work on new initiatives. Learn more, visit our SGC at Miller page.

Green Receiving Areas
Primary shipping for UMH will progressively ask to phase out non-reusable, non-recyclable wooden pallets by plastic re-usable pallets. Primary Receiving is proceeding to the progressive elimination of cardboard outer boxes on all distributor shipments. Supply is being delivered through a system of reusable plastic totters. 



  • University of Miami since 2007 adopted a Green Building mandate: All new construction need to reach a LEED Silver certification (Learn more about US Green Building Council -LEED). Visit our Design and Construction Green Buildings page to have a complete list of our new LEED New Construction.

  • Our state-of-the-art Central Energy Plant has helped us save energy. Learn more.

  • Since 2015, we’ve passed a LED lighting mandate to progressively phase out incandescent CFL bulbs.

UM expects to have this new water well supply integrated with its existing cooling tower water treatment system, creating an environmentally friendly process that will recycle aquifer water back to its source. The treatment system, part of the original central energy plant build, utilizes pulsed electric fields for control of mineral scaling, microbial growth and corrosion in the cooling towers. Cooling tower blowdown is discharged to a filtration pond, instead of the sewer, part of an environmentally friendly process that essentially recycleS aquifer water back to its source.
 "Since the new plant commenced operation, the Miller School has not stopped its pursuit of ever-greater energy efficiency and resiliency. In recent years, it has increased the plant’s emergency power supply and installed a backup water well system. In addition, projects are now in the works to both integrate those wells with the chiller plant’s nonchemical water treatment system and to install variablespeed drives on condenser water supply pumps."  2017 International District Energy Association

Read the complete presentation from Marcelo Bezos, Director of utilities and
engineering at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

CO2 SCRUBBER at the Wellness Center
Challenge: Poor indoor air quality and high HVAC energy consumption at state-of-the-art university fitness center. Solution: enVerid HLRs installed on each floor of 60,000 ft2 wellness facility to scrub air of contaminants and reduce the amount of outside air ventilation required. Learn more


The following is a list of energy conservation initiatives and best practices implemented by the Energy Management department.


HVAC is a major component of the total energy expenditure in a building, Campus Facilities are heavily reliant on the utilization of air conditioning and humidity control systems.  Chiller plants are major systems that produce refrigerated chilled water needed to deliver air conditioning to commercial/ institutional buildings.  Our Chiller Plant initiatives include:
■ Expansion plan to increase central chilled water plant production to eliminate inefficient standalone equipment.
■ Migration and expansion of campus wide Energy Management Systems (EMS).
■ A robust preventive maintenance (PM) program ensures the equipment operates optimally and extends its useful life.
■ Curtailable electrical rate in exchange for the ability to shut down utility plant equipment during periods of peak demand.
■ Monitoring of equipment run times to adjust to the academic calendar needs. 
■ Modification of operational schedules to reduce equipment run-times (ex: cleaning schedules).
■ Coordination with the Office of the Registrar to complete shutdown of select buildings.
■ Ongoing benchmarking and programs to perform test and balance to ensure equipment optimization meet building demands.
■ Monthly energy reporting to monitor building occupant energy consumption.

Building mechanical systems consist of equipment needed to distribute chilled water to air conditioning equipment, and in turn distribute conditioned air to the occupied spaces within the building.  Our Building Mechanical Systems initiatives include:
■ Use of Energy Management Systems (EMS) to monitor and adjust equipment run times to satisfy building needs.
■ Implementation of efficiently engineered mechanical systems such as Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems.
■ Installation of Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) in air conditioning and pump motors.

■ Installation of energy recovery systems that use return air energy from the occupied
space to assist in conditioning incoming fresh air.
■ Implementation of a robust preventive maintenance program to ensure equipment optimization and extend useful life.
■ Standardization of room temperatures throughout all campus buildings


Interior lighting is a major component of the total energy expenditure in a building
and is heavily reliant on the utilization of automated lighting systems and controls. The Interior lighting retrofit initiative / program objective is campus-wide for buildings and facilities in the standards, design of lighting and implementation of energy efficient
lighting technologies.  Our Lighting Systems initiatives include:
■ Installation of occupancy sensors in restrooms, common areas, hallways, offices, and classrooms.
■ Elimination of all T-12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts and conversion to T-8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts.
■ Elimination of incandescent lamp uses and purchases on campus.
■ Program to install Light Emitting Dioxides (LED) lamps and compact fluorescent (CFL) lamps for improved energy savings and lighting quality.
■ Implement daylight harvesting where applicable.
■ Relamping program to consistently upgrade/update to latest lamp technology.
■ Continuous research of innovative lighting system technologies.

Exterior Lighting is a major component of the total energy expenditure on campus.  The department is committed to an exterior lighting retrofit program with the most energy efficient lighting technology while keeping campus grounds secured for all students, employees, and visitors.  Our Exterior Lighting initiatives includes:
■ Installation of LEDs and CFLs in pedestrian walkways (Ashe, Cox Plaza, Alumni Building parking lot).
■ Retrofitting of over 20 exterior areas of campus from halogen lamps to LEDs and CFLs.
■ Retrofitting of all campus parking garages to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
■ Installation of 2 standalone solar lamp systems.
Recent Lighting retrofits have resulted in an instant wattage reduction exceeding over 100,000 kWh and significant reduction rates are expected through our ongoing retrofit programs.

Building Electrical Loads
Building electrical loads (“plug loads”) comprises of office equipment, refrigeration, computers, residence halls, appliances, and other loads that plug into an electrical receptacle.  Our initiatives in this area include:
■ Installation of power monitoring devices, including campus vending machines that shut down after a period of inactivity.
■ Implementation of a purchasing policy mandating the acquisitions of Energy Star appliances/ equipment.

Water Systems
The Energy department has implemented aggressive standards, practices and technologies to optimize the campus’s water use and further promote the University’s water conservation efforts.  Our Water initiatives in this area include:
■ Replacement of all student resident halls and apartments shower heads to low flow models.
■ Installation of timer setting controls on the campus irrigation systems.
■ Ongoing aggressive leak detection program to prevent excessive water consumption.
■ Ongoing replacement program of urinals and toilets to low flow models.
■ Ongoing conversion of campus irrigation systems to well water in lieu of domestic water usage.

Building Envelope
Included continuously surveys and inspection of the structural systems of all campus buildings in order to identify needed improvements to prevent energy consumption.  Our Building Envelope initiatives in this area include:
■ Implementation of an aggressive roof inspection program.
■ Installation of window tinting with energy saving film. 
■ Building inspection program to identify and repair areas to reduce energy consumption.

Fleet Management
Real Estate and Facilities Management understands the environmental impact of fossil fuels and the contribution of gas powered vehicles utilized on campus.  The department is committed to the reduction of the campus emissions footprint contributed by its service vehicle fleet.  Our Fleet initiatives include:
■  Implementation of an “anti-idling” policy for the department’s service fleet.
■  Replacement program of inefficient gas powered vehicles to electrical powered utility vehicles.
■  Reduction program of high fuel consuming utility vehicles from the department’s service fleet.
■  Monthly monitoring of fuel consumption to identify opportunities to reduce fuel consumption.


University of Miami Dining Services have implemented numerous sustainable food initiatives on our Coral Gables campus. With its partner Morrison, we are thriving to integrate best practices through our Medical campus and healthcare facilities.  Recently, U Health along with Jackson Memorial have decided to take the HEALTHIER FOOD CHALLENGE from the Healthier Hospital Initiative

- Healthy beverages Q4 2018: 64% of total expenses
- Better Meat FY 2018: 17% <> our goal is 20% better meat* by 2025
- Sustainable and Local Food FY 2018: 23% <> our goal is 20% sustainable and local food by 2025
- Less meat Q1 2018: 21% <> our goal is 20% less meat by 2025

*Certifications & Label Claims Used to Verify Antibiotic Usage: Raised without Antibiotics; HFAC Certified (Certified Human); CRAU Certified (Antibiotic free)


In the middle of our very urban medical campus, right in front of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Med students and staff have volunteered to plant a butterfly garden. Relaxation spaces are essential to staff moral and students awareness. Patients and family members can reconnect with nature while they come for their treatment.
"In recent years, the effects of the physical environment on the healing process and well-being have proved to be increasingly relevant for patients and their families as well as for healthcare staff." Healing Environment: A review of the impact of physical environmental factors on users - E.R.C.M. Huisman; E.Morales; J.Van. Hoof; H.S.M. Kort 


In the News:
Green U Hosted Sustainability Forum for South Florida Hospitals
Among the featured speakers, Julie Moyle, M.S.N., R.N., an outreach specialist with the Healthier Hospitals Initiative of Practice Green Health, gave an extensive overview of the benefits of greening hospital operations and made a presentation on a free web tool that provides resources and sustainability challenges in areas of engaging leadership, energy savings, water conservation, food and wellness and greening purchasing.

HIGHLIGHTS on U Health partners: 

Recycling Shredded Paper: Recycling paper is an important element in most business' sustainability plans, and when handled right, you’re not only helping the environment but also boosting security.

A single ton of recycled paper can yield significant environmental benefits including reducing carbon emissions, saving trees, and cutting back on water use, resulting in an energy savings of around 65%, but have you ever wondered what it takes to securely recycle?  Learn more



Goodwill Laundry and Linens is the newest state of the art commercial healthcare laundry in South Florida. By nature the processing, laundering and re using textiles as opposed to disposable linen is the major component in being green for the customer and the provider.

Processing Equipment/ Energy Efficient

Energy efficient laundry processing equipment was given the highest priority when selecting the laundering and finishing equipment for the new laundry.

Tunnel Washers:  Milnor Pulse Flow tunnel washers were selected for the main washers to process linen for Goodwill Laundry and Linens. The American manufactured washers use only .40 gallons per pound of water to wash linens as opposed to the other manufacturers which are using .75 to one gallon of water per pound to do the same process.

This results in potentially over 1.6 million gallons of water not used from the Aquifer annually this year. The anticipated water savings with Jackson Health poundage will be over 5 million gallons saved annually.


Heat Reclamation: Goodwill Laundry and Linens captures the residual heat energy from the drain water from the washers and through a Kemco heat reclamation system and pre heats the incoming cold water thereby reducing the amount of (new) energy required to heat the water.

 In addition the high temperature exhaust air from the boilers are captured and used to make all the hot water required by the plant. No additional or (new) energy is required.

Dryers: Milnor 300 pound batch dryers were selected to dry linen due to the energy efficient way they accomplish the drying process. The dryers use less electricity and natural gas by utilizing humidity sensing technology. This allows the dryer to finish the drying process and discharge the linen as soon as it is dry as opposed to a (timed) drying process which continues to use energy even though the linen is dry. 

Ironers: Chicago self -contained thermal fluid heated ironers are used to iron linen. The ironers have a self- contained burner which uses significantly less energy as opposed to steam generated from a boiler eliminating the line loss and increased energy required.

Lighting: The Goodwill laundry facility uses the most up to date energy efficient lighting to illuminate the plant and work stations. The lighting is programmable using energy only in areas and times necessary. In addition LED lighting is used over work stations resulting in less energy consumption and improved linen quality control.

Lighting in offices, rest rooms and break rooms are controlled by motion sensors and automatically turns on and off depending on whether the space is occupied or not.

Recycling: Goodwill Laundry and Linens is committed to recycling as much as possible. All plastic especially plastic soiled linen bags are placed in a recycling compactor and sent to a recycling center where the bags are melted and repurposed to make new plastic products. The plastic recycling reduces the Goodwill’s trash flow to our landfills significantly. Goodwill has recycled over a quarter of a million pounds of plastic over the past 12 months.

Linen that has reached its useful purpose is recycled into rags and other useful products and not sent to the landfill.

Pallets received by the laundry for new linen shipments are re used by Goodwill’s main manufacturing facility for shipping.

All cardboard is sent to a cardboard recycling center

Used oils and greases are picked up by an oil recycling service and are reconstituted for additional use.

Employee Awareness: Upon orientation staff is made aware of our commitment to energy efficiencies and recycling the items listed above. Key staff working in areas of items to be recycled is responsible for making certain that they are handled and staged appropriately.

 Learn more

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