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Center for Sustainability

About Us

Clinicians for Climate Action was formed in 2022 when several physicians in Pittsburgh decided to organize their healthcare professional colleagues to call for system-wide changes at their institution in order to address the climate crisis. We now have over 500 members actively engaged throughout the system. Thanks to support and guidance from the Climate Health Organizing Fellowship and other healthcare and government leaders across the nation, Clinicians for Climate Action launched a campaign to significantly improve healthcare sustainability at UPMC, the largest healthcare system in Pennsylvania. While our primary focus is at UPMC, we are eager to collaborate with other healthcare systems across the Commonwealth and beyond in order to achieve shared goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A post from Leslie Davis' Linkedin profile
A message from Leslie Davis, CEO and President at UPMC

"At UPMC, environmental stewardship is another way we can help keep our communities healthy.

The health care industry accounts for a staggering 10% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. While there is much work ahead of us, teams here at UPMC are spearheading efforts to make our operations more sustainable.

UPMC is charting a course to carbon neutrality, with a goal of cutting our carbon emissions in half by 2030. We've launched the UPMC Center for Sustainability to help guide this ongoing work. The center is working to form local groups to head up sustainability efforts at each of our 40 hospitals.

Change often starts from the inside out: in 2022, several of our physicians came together to form Clinicians for Climate Action. Their goal was formidable: reducing greenhouse gas emissions within our organization. One year later, this group boasts more than 500 members advocating for waste reduction, climate health education, health equity, and other causes. We're happy to partner with them as they do this important work.

Of course, this is only the beginning. But it is another example of the excellence and innovation that has come to embody our work at UPMC. And it supports the health of every person we serve."

Testimonials From Our Team
  • "You should bring your whole self to work. And as I’m someone who deeply believes our planet is worth saving, I can’t (nor do I want to) leave that piece of me at home when I come to work every day at Magee. It adds an extra hop to my step at the possibility of my work flowing beyond the hospital doors, out into the community, the region, the world."
  • "Being part of this movement makes me excited about the future of medicine and is aligned with the mission and vision of pediatrics to advocate for children and families."
  • "Being a small fish in a very big pond at my very corporate feeling institution, particularly through the pandemic, it has been hard to maintain a connection to the values that brought me to medicine in the first place let alone maintain the drive to persist in the field while also balancing more family responsibilities and life stresses. Once you lose that sense of meaning, every day is a slog when our work is as challenging as it is. Joining forces with a small group of passionate colleagues who are explicitly motivated by our shared values, who are linking arms to put pressure on healthcare system to lighten its impact on the environment and thus contribute to a bigger, more positive outcome on our communities and our planet has been a source of joy and a lifeline back to that original meaning."
  • "Working full time as a primary care pediatrician can get pretty stressful, especially during the winter season when there's such a high volume of sick patients. So it's a big relief when you see the institution you work for taking meaningful steps toward sustainability. It makes you feel proud of where you work, to be part of that effort, and it sustains you during challenging times."
  • "Working in healthcare sustainability is a YES conversation that energizes me. After conversations related to this work I have seen many people’s eyes shine and I have been offered many hands to shake, which has been unexpected, surprising and moving. This work has brought new and powerful connections with amazing people. The sense of accomplishment, of being part of something important, something bigger than ourselves, of having an impact, has brought a new level of enjoyment and meaning to my day to day work. This work is so positive! It is moving and inspiring."

  • "You telling me that advocating for green healthcare will do more for climate sustainability than being a climate scientist completely changed my outlook on my job."

  • "Being a part of sustainability efforts has reinvigorated me in a way I did not think possible and has given me a new purpose as a physician."