We can all create a greener, more sustainable NHS by taking action on air pollution, carbon emissions, water, waste and single use plastics, in line with our national ‘For a greener NHS’ commitments.
Most large organisations have a specific team or individual responsible for this work and will sometimes have a ‘For a greener NHS’ Plan that is available online or published in Board Papers. This will help you understand what is being done locally, how it relates to the work of all staff, and how to get more involved.
Each NHS organisation should have a ‘For a greener NHS’ Plan that sets the organisational direction for implementing sustainable development, outlining actions, targets and timeframes. This considers their direct impact as well as their influence on the supply chain and local communities.
Adaptation planning, which includes preparing for the changes that climate change will bring, such as heat waves and flooding, and Healthy Travel Planning should also be considered either as part of the Green Plan or other planning documents.
All NHS organisations should measure, monitor and report against their ‘For a greener NHS’ Plan. It should be noted publicly, as reporting on sustainability is a statutory requirement in the accounting manual. Guidance and tools are available as well as best practice examples for commissioners and providers.
Engaging and empowering
Engaging and empowering clinicians, staff, patients and the public is necessary for a shared understanding of climate change and to improve our response as health organisations and individuals to climate change. Resources outlining the links between health and climate change are available on the Sustainable Development Unit website.