Sustainability is a hot topic. And quite rightly so; in 2015 the World Health Organisation declared climate change as the biggest threat to global health in the 21st century. Greta Thunberg’s School Strike for Climate sparked a revolution. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is this November, promising a crucial review of current policy and headway.
With the ever increasing awareness of the bi-directional relationship between the climate crisis and health becoming more apparent, the NHS has set a Net Zero target for its emissions by 2045. However, health professionals still lack the knowledge and skills to reduce the environmental footprint of healthcare. This vital reduction in emissions cannot occur without the necessary education and integration of sustainability into practice.
The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) is a registered charity working since 2008 with the endeavour of helping the health sector reduce its carbon footprint. By developing methodologies to transform care, and working extensively both inside and outside the healthcare sector, the CSH aims to empower professionals, patients, and the wider community in understanding the links between health and the environment.
The ‘Introduction to Sustainable Healthcare’ course contains a comprehensive background to the problem at hand, alongside principles and practical solutions. These solutions importantly take into account social, financial, and environmental responsibilities (collectively known as the ‘Triple Bottom Line’), considering a healthcare professional’s duty to narrow health inequalities while working in a system which utilises the planet’s finite resources.
So if you do not know where to start, are feeling overwhelmed, or want to know why you should even care about sustainability at all, this course is for you. Join this collaboration to transform the health system, for the benefit of your patients, but also to safeguard the future of the planet which we call home.
For more information regarding the CSH, visit their website here (https://sustainablehealthcare.org.uk/)
About the author
Kiana Mostaghimi is a final year medical student at the University of Southampton, excited to start her foundation training in South Yorkshire this summer. Her interest in and motivation for sustainability has grown since her elective at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, and she looks forward to integrating this into a hopeful future career in acute medicine.