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Decarbonising General Practice

The NHS in England has recognised that the climate and ecological emergency is a health emergency and as a result, has committed to reach net-zero by 2040. To achieve this, every part of the NHS must take an active role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Primary care is responsible for approximately 23% of NHS England’s emissions footprint — about 5.75 million tonnes per year, amounting to 1% of UK greenhouse gas emissions. In primary care in England, clinical carbon accounts for about 60% of emissions, with pharmaceuticals being the biggest ‘hotspot’. For non-clinical carbon (the remaining 40%), ‘hotspots’ include staff and patient travel and energy use. 

At South East London ICS, General Practice clinical emissions total 45,304 tonnes CO2e, while non-clinical emissions total 30,867 CO2e – we need your help to reach net-zero!

GP practices around the UK are already taking action by becoming carbon literate, assessing their carbon footprint, greening their estates, and implementing green practice action plans.

To support team members on their journey to create a net-zero practice, South East London ICS has produced a non-clinical decarbonisation guide for GP practices. The plan contains a number of actions and whilst commitment from all partners will be critical, the ICB will be engaging with General Practices and PCNs to design the most efficient and effective way to deliver these objectives. 

Alongside this we have a range of resources to support you on your journey:

Non-clinical decarbonisation guide

We have launched a non-clinical decarbonisation guide for GP practices in South East London. It provides a methodical path to address and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which can benefit practices, practice staff, patient care, and practice expenditure. Designed for use in practices today, the guide is divided into sections to make it easy to pick up. Simply read the area you wish to act on and implement one key action. Then you can plan another action after the successful implementation of the first, and so on.

Training courses with the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare

We have purchased a number of training courses with the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare including:

If you would like to do one of these short courses, please send an email to sel.netzero@nhs.net describing your role, practice and borough, and how you intend to use the course to inform your work.

Supporting Active Travel

We are working with a partner to support the uptake of active travel across General Practice in the area. If you would like to nominate your PCN then please contact sel.netzero@nhs.net

Air Quality improvement programme

We are launching an Air Quality improvement programme across health organisations and the councils and have rented a number of air quality monitors. If your practice is in an urban area and you would like to install an outdoor air quality monitor (please note it will need to be on a south facing wall or have an external power supply) then please contact sel.netzero@nhs.net

For more information on this and our wider sustainability plans, please visit the South East London ICS website or email sel.netzero@nhs.net