Every single decision to act more sustainably matters. Many organisations within the NHS already have dedicated sustainability professionals and teams. A good starting point is to get in touch with them to ask how you can contribute.
A range of organisations exist across the UK and the world dedicated to the links between health and climate change:
- The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change
- The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare
- The Global Health and Climate Alliance
- The World Health Organization’s Health and Climate Change Unit
The Greener NHS National Programme is also highlighting simple actions NHS staff can take right now that will make a genuine difference:
Reduce energy consumption:
TLC – Turn off equipment, lights out, close doors
- Turn off monitors, printers, and enable automated sleep mode
- Turn off lights overnight, during daylight, when room not in use
- Close doors and control temperature.
Reuse wherever you can:
- Bring re-useable cups, bottles, or cutlery to work to avoid using single-use items
- Where possible switch from single-use plastics to sustainable alternatives.
Recycle and sort your waste:
- Whether clinical waste, paper or food waste, ensure you’re using the right bin
- If sorted properly, most NHS waste doesn’t go to landfill – help us maximise what we recycle and make sure you dispose of all waste (clinical and non-clinical) using the right bin.
Replace a car journey:
- Walk, cycle, or use public transport when possible – active travel is also good for your health and the environment
- Using public transport or car sharing will also help, but always refer to relevant government guidance.
Get in touch with your sustainability or estates team to understand what projects are running at your organisation and how they apply to your work. You can always look at our case studies section for further details and inspiration.