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Hayley Carmichael
Communications Manager
3 minute read

Celebrate the NHS’s commitment to sustainable healthcare

Take part in this year’s Sustainability Day of Action, 08 July 2024

One of the best ways to protect the health of our community is to ensure that our environment is safe and healthy. As the largest employer in the UK, the NHS has a real opportunity to reduce any negative impacts that providing healthcare can have on the environment, and on our communities.

Monday 8 July 2024 is the NHS Sustainability Day of Action. This day is an opportunity to celebrate the NHS’s commitment to a greener future, and to highlight the importance of including sustainability in decisions on health services and products. It is also an opportunity to hear about new and innovative ways that the NHS can provide healthcare and reduce its impact on the environment.

The NHS has made a groundbreaking commitment to achieving Net Zero for its direct carbon pollution by 2040, and for its indirect carbon pollution by 2045. To achieve this, we will need the help of all healthcare staff, as well as our suppliers and partners.

Sustainability Day of Action events

This NHS Sustainability Day of Action (Monday, 08 July 2024), Sustainability Partnerships, is hosting three free online events that all staff can access:

Beyond Ambition: Achieving Net Zero in NHS Supply Chains,10:00-11:00am.

The aim of this session is to understand how the NHS and suppliers can work together to reduce the impact services and products have on the environment, in innovative and resilient ways.

How Can the NHS Plate Up Sustainable Food Alternatives?,12:00-1:00pm.

This panel session will discuss the ways in which the NHS can provide food that is nutritious while having as little impact on the environment as possible.

Lead the Conversation: Building Communication Strategies for a Sustainable NHS Future, 4:00-5:00pm

This final event will detail the ways in which we can share stories around healthcare and the environment in ways that are clear to a variety of cultural backgrounds, including animations and image-based storytelling.

How you can get involved

As well as attending the above events on NHS Sustainability Day of Action, you can try some of the below ideas to help reduce your impact on the environment.

Talk to your team – Talk about the environment and the impact climate change has on our health with your team and see if you can find some less polluting approaches to the work you do.

Become an envoyCare Without Carbon envoys are people who passionate about tackling the environmental impact of healthcare and are working to make change. If your organisation doesn’t have an envoy programme, check if it has other environmental networks you can join.

Check out your organisation’s Green Plan – All NHS trusts, and many other NHS organisations, have Green Plans. Read your organisation’s, and see the work that is being done and how you can get involved.

Active travel – Travelling without a car – such as by walking, cycling or using a wheelchair – can help to improve your mental and physical health, as well as reduce your journey’s impact on the environment.

Reduce food waste – Planning your meals, sharing with others, and donating packaged excess food are all effective ways of reducing food waste. Reducing the amount of meat you eat, and eating local, seasonal produce, can also help to lower the environmental impact of your diet.

And don't forget you can add your voice to the call for more sustainable healthcare on our homepage.