Introduction to Sustainable Healthcare

This foundation course offers an overview of the relationship between health, the health sector and the climate and ecological crises. How is the health system both vulnerable to and contributing to climate change and ecological degradation? What would a sustainable health system look like? What might the wider benefits be and how can we achieve this? The course also highlights the leadership role healthcare staff can play in providing healthcare for all within planetary boundaries.

  • Workshop: 19 July (Tue) 12.00-16.00 BST 
    • Self-study period opens: 28 June
  • Workshop: 25 August (Thur) 9.00-13.00 BST
    • Self-study period opens: 4 August 
  • Workshop: 6 October (Thur) 13.00-17.00 BST 
    • Self-study period opens: 15 September
  • Workshop:  1 November (Tue) 15.30-19.30 BST 
    • Self-study period opens: 11 October

If you have booked on a course click here for access.

Pricing structure: £95 - £165 + VAT

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Course description

Our foundation courses offer an overview of the field for health and social care staff at any level who are new to sustainable healthcare. This training course will help you to understand why sustainability matters and use NHS case studies to develop the tools to implement sustainability projects in your area.

Sustainable healthcare delivers high quality care without damaging the environment, is affordable now and in the future and delivers positive social impact. This course outlines a vision of a sustainable health system based on planetary health principles with a broader focus on health creation at a population level. Health systems consume enormous quantities of materials, energy, chemicals, and water, and they produce vast amounts of waste, much of it toxic. A more efficient and sustainable health system would not use resources in a way that adversely affects the health of the population or prevent tomorrow's health professionals from providing care. Sustainable healthcare can also make a significant contribution to the carbon reductions required by the Paris Agreement, the NHS net zero commitments and the wider UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  1. Describe the relationship between the global environmental crisis and human health, the risks to the healthcare system, and the contribution of the health sector to environmental degradation
  2. Apply the principles of sustainable development to the health sector
  3. Develop carbon literacy and identify carbon hotspots
  4. Plan a project to improve sustainability in your working environment

Course Structure

Part I.  Self-study online

Prepare for the workshop at your convenience using our interactive online self-study module, presented in bite-sized chunks. You will need about 4-6 hours to complete the self-study materials, which cover all course content including background, theory, and case studies, with links to further information depending on your level of interest. Discussion points throughout the module allow you to reflect on your learning and start to get to know fellow participants and their areas of interest and work. At the end of the module, you are invited to sketch out a plan for a sustainability project you might want to undertake, in preparation for the workshop discussions. The self-study module opens 3 weeks before, and remains available to you for 4 weeks after, the workshop.

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Part II.  Live workshop online

The 4 hour virtual workshop consolidates your understanding of the course materials. Small group discussions with CSH experts and colleagues from around the world allow further exploration of topics that interest you and tips on how to translate your ideas into action. The timetable includes pre-session technical assistance and networking, followed by a review of the self-study material with Q&A.  In breakout groups, you will then share your ideas for a sustainability intervention in your setting and make plans to develop it, using the range of resources, tools and methods developed by CSH and partners.

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Part III.  Mentoring

After completing the self-study materials and online workshop, you are invited to attend our online Sustainable Healthcare Cafés. The 2 hour cafes occur regularly throughout the year and  offer ongoing support for you to put your learning into practice. They are a friendly, informal setting in which to:

  • Get support for sustainability projects from peers and CSH staff
  • Make connections with others bringing sustainability projects into their workplace

You are welcome to continue attending Cafes as many times as you wish. Upcoming dates are available here and will also be emailed out to you with your certificate of completion after the workshop.

Pricing Structure

pricing structure

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Book a course with peace of mind: We realise that healthcare workers may have to change their plans at short notice. If you are unable to attend a workshop, we can offer you a workshop at a later date for no charge. We can also offer a refund as long as you cancel before the course opens for self-study, which is 3 weeks before the workshop. There will be an admin fee of £30 for refunds.



Rachel Stancliffe, Founder and Director

Rachel worked on public health initiatives in the UK, Georgia and Kazakhstan before helping to develop The Cochrane Library during the first decade of its life. She has a Human Sciences degree (Oxford) and a Master’s degree in demography and epidemiology (London School of Economics).

Dr Rosie Spooner 

Rosie is a Paediatric Trainee (St5) in Severn Deanery and CSH QI Education Fellow (2020-2021), working with universities and postgraduate education programmes to support the integration of sustainable healthcare into Quality Improvement teaching. She comes from a background in environmental activism, successfully lobbying the RCPCH to declare a climate emergency and established a hospital allotment society whilst a medical student in London.

Stefi Barna, Education Director

Stefi is a global health academic with a background in history. She taught planetary health at Queen Mary University of London and  public health at Norwich Medical School.


heyley bioDr Hayley Pinto, Education and Training Lead

Hayley was a lead consultant addiction psychiatrist with nearly 30 yrs experience in the NHS and publicly funded services.  She is a medical educator, and currently senior honorary lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and has been involved in climate education, outreach, and activism for several years. Hayley also has a degree in psychology and completed general practice training before pursuing a career in psychiatry. 

About CSH

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare is a registered charity working since 2008 to help the NHS reduce its carbon footprint. Its is the world's foremost institution for sustainable healthcare research and practice. The team draws on knowledge and experience from public health, clinical practice, environmental consultancy, research and public policy to develop methodologies and metrics to transform models of care. CSH collaborates with partners inside and outside healthcare to engage professionals, patients and the wider community in understanding the connections between health and environment, and to reduce healthcare’s resource footprint. For more information about its work see, click here.