The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (formerly known as the Campaign for Greener Healthcare) is inspiring people to realise the vital importance of the overlap between their wellbeing and environmental sustainability, particularly in the field of healthcare.
What is the problem?
Studies show that climate change is the biggest threat to health this century. Reports also show that the NHS is one of the biggest carbon polluters in the UK, being responsible for 21 million tonnes of CO2 each year - representing 25% of all public sector carbon emissions in England. It has an urgent imperative to act swiftly to reduce this, and to promote healthy, ‘green’ practices as opposed to being the country’s largest carbon polluter.
What is the solution?
The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH) is working with key partners to engage healthcare professionals, patients and the wider community in understanding the connections between health and environment and the importance of adopting sustainable practices at work and at home. As the NHS has contact with millions of people every day as patients and employs over 1.3 million people, it has the potential to reach huge swathes of the population with positive health and environmental messages. The ‘convenient truth’ is that what is good for the environment is also good for people’s health.
Why is the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare best placed to carry this out?
CSH was set up in 2008 out of concern for the future of people’s health. CSH is fortunate in having a wealth of experience both within its own small team, and through a wide network of partners, in the fields of health and the environment. During the past three years we have developed a range of projects to green the NHS. Our programmes concentrate on three areas: engagement; knowledge sharing; and transformation.
CSH is now established as an independent organisation, having been ‘incubated’ by the charity Knowledge into Action for the first two years.
Our close understanding of healthcare and of the health system in the UK, combined with our knowledge of sustainability and how these link enables us to work with partners in both these spheres to open doors and share ideas.