Greener AHP Week 17 – 24 April 2023

One of the biggest threats to our health, and our planet, is climate change. Contributing around 4% of UK emissions, the NHS and other UK health and care organisations must be part of the solution. Tackling climate change will ensure we can deliver high quality care for all, now and for future generations. Since the NHS became the world’s first national health system to commit to becoming carbon net zero in October 2020, the Chief Allied Health Professions Office (CAHPO) set out to highlight the role of AHPs in Delivering a Net Zero NHS. CAHPO further demonstrated her commitment to net zero in the strategy for England, AHPs Deliver.

The idea for a dedicated time to showcase and celebrate what allied health professionals (AHPs) are doing around environmental sustainability was born at the 2022 CAHPO conference.

What AHPs do every day makes a difference. The actions you take to improve health and reduce health inequalities also improve our planet. Common AHP interventions that improve patient’s health, like supporting physical activity, encouraging active travel, and promoting healthy eating, are part of the solution to climate change.

The first Greener AHP week is an opportunity to:

  • Learn and share what it means to be a more environmentally sustainable AHP.
  • Raise awareness of the links between health and climate change, the NHS net zero ambition, and the shifts required to build a Greener NHS programme, nationally and regionally.
  • Build support and grow networks through showcasing AHP and wider initiatives and actions that others can get involved in.

How to get involved and events

Join our live launch event on Monday 17 April 12 midday – 1pm to hear from Suzanne Rastrick the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for England (CAHPO) on her commitments to delivering net zero, with other guest speakers including the Greener NHS, frontline AHPs and colleagues from professional bodies.

Throughout the week, share what you are doing personally or professionally on social media with hashtag #GreenerAHP. What is your team, provider, system or region doing to deliver on the UK commitment to delivering net zero?

Want to hear what other #GreenerAHPs are doing already, or share some of your own examples? Join the Greener AHP Sustainability networking event on Wednesday 19 April at 7pm to hear examples of big and small actions that AHPs around the UK are taking to make our health and care systems greener.

Join us for the live #GreenerAHP Tweetchat on Thursday 20 at 8pm to celebrate yours and others’ actions. Let’s inspire each other to do more in our commitment to achieving #Netzero together, improving health and care now and for future generations.

Monday 17 April: Greener AHP launch event midday – 1pm

Join our live launch event to hear from Suzanne Rastrick, the Chief Allied Health Professions Officer for England (CAHPO) on her commitment to the Greener agenda. There will be other guest speakers including the Greener NHS, frontline AHPs and colleagues from professional bodies. Get ready to feel inspired!

Join @WeAHPs @SuzanneRastrick @chief_ahp_officer_england on social media all week and share what you’re already doing as a #GreenerAHP in your personal and professional life. We want to see your photos, stories and videos! Remember to hashtag #GreenerAHP

Tuesday 18 April: Knowledge

Day 2 is all about sharing and signposting to useful resources on net zero. Do you want to learn more about being a #GreenerAHP but you’re not quite sure where to start? Have you done a great e-learning on net zero, sustainable healthcare or climate change that you want to share? Have you attended an in-person module that you want to shout about? Do you belong to any networks, or is there a network missing that you want to set up but aren’t sure how? Tell us all about it using the #GreenerAHP hashtag.

Wednesday 19 April: Public health and prevention

On Day 3, we’re taking a closer look at the links between the work AHPs do on public health and prevention and its links to climate change. AHPs are an integral part of the public health workforce. There is a carbon footprint attached to all healthcare activity across all settings, however proactive rather than reactive care generally has a lower impact. This means there is a strong link between our ambitions as #GreenerAHPs to improve public health and reduce our carbon impact, as less carbon intensive healthcare is based on reducing the need to access healthcare services. Tell us how your work supports people in a way that might reduce their future care needs #earlyintervention #fallsprevention #pulmonaryrehab #rehabilitation #MakingEveryContactCount #GreenerAHP

Thursday 20 April: Digital transformation and the application of technology

Day 4 zooms in on learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and exploiting digital capabilities to inform more efficient ways of working. Has your service gone paper light? Is sustainability considered in business cases for digital expansion? Do you know what the carbon impact of sending an email with an attachment is? Tell us what you’re doing already, and your thoughts on digital health.

Friday 21 April: Reducing the environmental impact of equipment, medicines and resources

Day 5 is a chance to focus on AHPs as procurers and prescribers, and our responsibility to do these things sustainably. The NHS’ supply chain accounts for over 60% of carbon emissions. This covers a wide range of goods and services, including medicines, medical and non-medical equipment. For most of these emissions, the NHS does not have direct control but has a considerable influence through its purchasing power. Do you consider the 5 R’s when selecting equipment? Do you audit standard stock orders, or do you end up throwing away surplus supplements or medicines because you’ve ordered more than you use? Do you know if the suppliers you use have a commitment to net zero and social value? Do you use gloves only when it is necessary?

Saturday 22 April: Earth-day

What actions are you already taking in your personal life to be #Greener? Share your stories, pictures and videos to help us celebrate #Earthday2023

Monday 24 April: Food and nutrition

Day 6 is the final day of our #GreenerAHP week, where we’ll focus on food and nutrition. The link between food, health, and climate change is clear. Food is responsible for around one quarter of the UK’s carbon footprint, predominately from fertiliser use, livestock food production and food waste. It is estimated that food and catering services in the NHS produces 1,543 ktCO2e – each year, which make up around 6% of the NHS’s total emissions. Do your actions and services interact with the food system, and do your actions or services impact on mealtimes and patient appetite? Could you do more to help prevent food waste or promote healthy and low carbon diets?

Past events

Introduction to the greener AHP hub and walking aids reuse webinar (1 December 2021)

You can access the webinar resources in Greener AHP Resource Library – National AHP Virtual Hub. If you do not have access to this space, you can request permission from the workspace manager at the given link or email for access.