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WashU School of Medicine Sustainability Plan Midterm Report

In 2018, the WashU School of Medicine Operations and Facilities Management Department published its first Sustainable Operations Strategic Plan for 2018 – 2025. This document was built upon the Office of Sustainability’s institution wide plan that was published in 2015, but shines light on programs and plans that are specific to the School of Medicine.   

Now that we are halfway through the strategic plan term, the WUSM Sustainability team is excited to announce the publication of the 2023 Sustainable Operations Strategic Plan Update. The Strategic Plan Update provides a detailed status report on all of the commitments made in 2018, and looks ahead to the remaining two years of the strategic plan term. While we encourage those interested in sustainability initiatives at the School of Medicine to read the full publication, some key highlights from the past 5 years include:  

  1. Reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 3,144 metric tons through re-commissioning projects across 7 buildings 
  2. Converting 95% of the WUSM campus to LED lighting 
  3. Expanding the Green Lab program with the implementation of a formal certification process 
  4. Completing the $7.5 million enhancement of the Central West End Metrolink station
  5. Piloting a compost program at Shell Café and Farmstead Café, resulting in 5,474 pounds of food waste diverted from the landfill (as of September 5, 2023) 

The Sustainable Operations Strategic Plan Update also features a number of new commitments, including: 

  • Maintaining a 5-star Green Dining Alliance certification at Farmstead Café 
  • Selecting furniture materials that are environmentally preferable 
  • Increasing support for minority and women-owned businesses and vendors 
  • Increasing recruitment efforts to increase the diversity of the WUSM workforce in crucial staffing areas 

Looking forward, the Office of Sustainability is currently leading the process to develop the second institution wide plan, with the next version of the School of Medicine specific plan to follow soon after. Keep an eye out for ways to get involved and for your voice to be heard in the planning process!