Climate Change and Healthcare: What can we do?

Did you know that the healthcare industry is responsible for 18 million tonnes of CO2 emissions?

There is no question as to focus on resolving this will have a big impact on the environment. Climate change affects both environmental and public health with an increased threat of extreme weather, disease and natural disasters all raising the risk of health implications. The carbon emissions themselves increase respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses and the risk of flooding, high temperatures and power cuts could affect hospital infrastructure. This would amount to increased pressure on healthcare services.


To address this problem, the NHS has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045, which could have significant benefits for public health. They forecast if they reach this goal, this could:

  • Improve air quality, saving 5,700 lives every year.
  • Create a more physically active population, further saving 38,000 lives.
  • Increase healthier diets, saving 100,000 lives.

As you can see, working to reduce carbon emissions greatly benefit our overall health (and our wallet), both in the long term and short term.


So…what can we do?


Consider Alternative Methods of Transport.

From distributing supplies to staff and patient travel. This has a massive impact on carbon emissions within healthcare.

Avoiding the use of a car wherever possible is best! Walk, jog or cycle, not only does this help the environment but it is also good for your physical health. If this is not possible, consider public transport or car sharing; save money on fuel!

As an agency, we aim to allocate our staff to healthcare facilities local to them, so they have the best chance to take advantage of these eco-friendlier methods of transport.


Reduce Waste.

This includes everything from packaging to single-use items. Can you recycle that wrapper? Reuse those boxes for storage? Perhaps invest in a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste? Consider using a recycling bin and provide clear signage so they are used properly.


Save Energy.

Something as simple as turning off lights, computers, and any other electrical office equipment when not in use, can make a big difference as well as save money! Switching to energy-efficient sources such as LED lighting or even making use of natural light during the day can also have a big impact.

Natural light is also great for mental health and our body clock, which is a bonus!


Eat Healthier.

Cut further transport emissions by shopping locally, getting fresher produce from local businesses and buying food in season. Less processed food is overall better for your health as it contains more nutrients and fewer additives. You could also reduce packaging by making and storing packed lunches in reusable tubs.

These healthier eating habits reduce our risk of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease!


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