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Bring Green Impact to your NHS Trust in 2024

Rachel Soper
November 24, 2023

We are now taking sign-ups for NHS Trusts to run their ownbespoke Green Impact programme in 2024. Green Impact will support you to achieve the ambitions of your Green Plan, and create a community of engaged colleagues taking positive action within their teams.

Green Impact is a sustainability learning and awards scheme with practical application for teams who want to improve their sustainability and social responsibility. It started with a student idea in 2006, and has since expanded into many sectors, reaching tens of thousands of people each year. The Green Impact model has been used in healthcare since 2011, and since then has been supporting teams of healthcare staff to learn and lead for sustainability in their area of work.

In 2023, six new universities joined our Green Impact programme for universities, and we are now ready to welcome new NHS Trusts to join our existing healthcare cohort for 2024. You can view our brochure here which outlines in more detail how the programme works, and what support is included. Please contact us on hello@sos-uk.org to discuss how Green Impact could support you.

Why do we run Green Impact in healthcare?

The climate and ecological crises pose a major threat to human health and wellbeing so it is important to recognise sustainability and health as intersecting issues. Healthcareis also a major contributor to the climate crisis. Some of the biggest negative impacts in the NHS come from supply chain, medicines and chemicals, building energy, staff and patient travel, anaesthetic gasses and metred dose inhalers. These are all areas in which healthcare teams can take direct action on within their day-to-day operations through initiatives like Green Impact.

In October 2020, the NHS became the world’s first health service to commit to reaching carbon net zero, and in 2022 became the first health system to embed net zero into legislation, through the Health and Care Act 2022. All NHS Trusts now have Green Plans to shape their local strategy for achieving a net zero healthcare system.

Engagement from all roles and areas of healthcare is crucial in delivering these targets. Many are aware of the need for change, but without structure and support can find it challenging to act. They need simple, effective, easily-accessible information that is relevant to their role, and they want to connect with others who are embarking on the same journey. Green Impact can support this through applied workplace learning for sustainability.

How does it work?

Green Impact is designed to run across the whole Trust, with teams forming across all areas of operation. We work with you to co-create your online toolkit, ensuring it contributes meaningfully to your Green Plan, reflects local targets, procedures and priorities, and fits with your culture. The toolkit will be made up of simple, engaging, and impactful actions for teams to complete, covering a wide range of sustainability themes, such as energy, waste, water, biodiversity, and wellbeing.

Once the toolkit is live, teams will track their progress and upload evidence to the toolkit, and at the end of the year will receive a student-led audit to verify the actions they’ve completed. The student-led audits are an exciting element of Green Impact, adding the social value of supporting their skills development as well as building links with the local student community. Each team will then be presented with a Green Impact award to demonstrate their achievements.

Green Impact is an effective way to create sustainable change across the Trust, and an exciting way for staff to get involved in sustainability. It offers a clear framework to create and maintain engagement with a network of sustainability champions who are empowered, through Green Impact, to lead on sustainability in their area of work.

Green Impact is delivered by SOS-UK, who are a registered charity, making it an affordable and ethical choice for your sustainability engagement. You’ll work closely with an assigned project manager from SOS-UK who will support you throughout to make themost of your programme.

Get involved

If you would like to bring Green Impact to your NHS Trust, please contact us on hello@sos-uk.org.

If you are not based at an NHS Trust, there are anumber of ways to get involved which you can find detailed below:

  • If you lead on sustainability in another type oforganisation, we also work with many other sectors, including education, research, local authorities and heritage, so please do get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
  • If you work in a dental practice: Any dental practice (both private and NHS) in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland can now sign-up to Green Impact Dentistry to take part for free. Contact gidentistry@sos-uk.org for registration information.
  • If you work in a General Practice (GP): Any general practice in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland can join Green Impact for Health, funded by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). Contact giforhealth@sos-uk.org for registration information.
  • If you work in primary care in Wales: All independent primary care contractors in Wales (general practices, communitypharmacies, community optometric practices and primary care dental practices) can get involved in the Greener Primary Care Wales Framework, co-ordinated and funded by Public Health Wales. All actions are specific to a Welsh context and aim to support Welsh sustainability goals. Contact greenerprimarycare@wales.nhs.uk for more information.
  • If you work in an ICB, ICS or CCG, please get intouch with us on hello@sos-uk.org todiscuss how Green Impact could support your Green Plan action.
  • If you are a student (from anydiscipline), you can get involved as a Green Impact auditor! Email us at hello@sos-uk.org with your name, course andplace of study.

Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash