Green Ward Competition

Dr Cassie Worth, Emergency Medicine Consultant, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

‘The project has brought about real cultural and behavioural changes in the department’

‘Now that we have participated in the Green Ward Competition many clinicians are approaching me with ideas for other sustainability projects.  We have a long list!’


What is the Green Ward Competition?

The Green Ward Competition is an holisitic award-winning programme for healthcare organisations wishing to tranform their services to become more environmentally, socially and financially sustainable.  CSH facilitators (all of whom are both healthcare professionals and sustainability consultants) work directly with ward and unit teams to develop, run and measure their sustainability projects.  A quality improvement approach, especially devised to include an environmental element, is used as a means of change and transformation.  

How it Works


  • CSH facilitate bespoke workshops for each team, generating ideas for sustainability project in their ward or department, running over 10 weeks 
  • A prize is awarded to the team whose project has had the greatest impact on improving sustainability or which shows the best potential for future impact 
  • CSH support Trusts in spreading the highest quality projects ideas 
  • The timing of the competition can be linked to NHS Sustainability Day, Earth Day or World Environment Day

CSH provides

  • Guidance on running the competition, including recruitment of clinical teams, appointment of judges and criteria for judging entries 
  • Branded e-materials, such as posters, leaflets and template letters
  • Up to 8 one-hour, tailored workshops for each team spread over 2 days
  • Telephone support and project management for team

Why take grassroots action through the Green Ward Competition?

Carbon reduction policies to date for the NHS have largely focussed on reducing building energy use, travel and procurement of goods and services.  The greatest proportion (59%) of the carbon footprint is derived from procurement of which the highest contributors are medicine use and medical equipment (Reducing the Use of Natural Resources in Health and Social Care, Sustainable Development Unit, 2018).  How do we reduce the carbon footprint due to procurement of these goods?  Part of the answer will be decisions taken centrally.  However, clinicians are using these resources in their daily practice and operating and designing systems that drive staff behaviour, so effecting how these resources are used.  This intimate knowledge of the use of clinical resources, along with their clinical knowledge, means that the perspective of clinicians is vital when making the carefully nuanced decisions on how to maintain or improve clinical care whilst reducing environmental, social and financial cost.  Clinical staff carrying out their daily work in a way that is environmentally sustainable has the potential to make a significant contribution to reaching the carbon reduction targets for the NHS and social care. 

A hospital is people, much more than it is buildings, machines or techniques - which are only valuable in relation to the women and men who use them.  Roger Grainger

Please browse our impact reports and case studies from recent competitions:

PDF iconleeds_green_ward_competition_evaluation_final_21_march_2019.pdf

PDF icon26th_february_ob_final_devon_green_ward_competition_evaluation_2018.pdf

PDF icondg_green_ward_evaluation_report_2016.pdf

PDF icongreen_ward_competition_uhs_evaluation.pdf

PDF iconasp_green_ward_competition_evaluation.pdf

For more information, and for current pricings, please email our Clinical Programme Lead,

Dr Olivia Bush:

brains and cheeck