Sustainability in Healthcare

Background

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What we offer

 The Lancet called climate change “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”. 

If your business is health, there is a moral duty to act on health threats and manage long-term risk to the health service.


We cover 

  • Climate change and General Practice including resilience to weather related events
  • Presentations on the carbon footprint of healthcare
  • Carbon Footprint calculations 
  • Waste audits and waste management strategies
  • Energy audits and energy management strategies
  • Plastic audits and single use plastic management strategies
  • Implementing the Green Impact for Health Scheme

Travel better

A 2018 report showed the NHS was responsible for 5% of road traffic in England. 

44,000 people die annually from the effects of air pollution in the UK  assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/770715/clean-air-strategy-2019.pdf 


The Kings Fund calculate 17% of NHS carbon emissions are linked to staff and patient travel. www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/time-think-differently/trends-sustainable-services 


How many staff and patients walk or cycle? Is the infrastructure in place to encourage this?

A travel audit to measure travel to and from primary healthcare can be a first step to understanding. 

Eat well and improve health

Healthcare can reduce the burden of disease through educating patients and public about the health benefits 

of a locally sourced, seasonal diet. 

Aim for a diet high in fruit and vegetables with less red meat and (ideally zero) processed foods.

Reduced energy use and waste generation

Reducing your practice on-costs by reducing energy consumption, reducing waste generation and recycling what is wasted more effectively and making business processes more efficient and leaner. 


The practice can use its buying power responsibly and change to a 100% carbon free tariff. Energy security issues are likely to become increasingly important for health care providers 

Prescribing and the impact on the climate

The largest part of the NHS carbon footprint is from the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. The carbon footprint of  one MDI inhaler contributes the equivalent of 29 kg of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. There are 73 million prescriptions for inhalers in the UK annually. 

A large percentage of community prescribed medicines end up in land fill - this can be addressed through reviewing non pharmaceutical therapies and interventions and social prescribing

Climate change and primary care

Improve resilience for patients and services who are vulnerable to changing weather patterns and seasons. The UK is expected to have drier summers and more droughts and wetter winters with more flooding.

Organisations will need to assess the potential local impacts, and take measures to ensure that facilities, supply chains, infrastructure and workforce are resilient to environmental change. 


Contact Us

For help implementing sustainability into your practice, contact SEE Sustainability

Telephone 07503 163710