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We are more than a hospital.

We understand the important role a greener healthcare system will play in challenging the direct and immediate consequences of climate change on our patients, the public and the NHS.


What is NHS Net Zero?

Understanding that climate change and human health are inextricably linked, in October 2020, it became the first in the world to commit to delivering a net zero national health system. This means improving healthcare while reducing harmful carbon emissions, and investing in efforts that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

With around 4% of the country’s carbon emissions, and over 7% of the economy, the NHS has an essential role to play in meeting the net zero targets set under the Climate Change Act (Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service).

Two clear and feasible targets are outlined in the Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service report:

  • The NHS Carbon Footprint: for the emissions we control directly, net zero by 2040
  • The NHS Carbon Footprint Plus: for the emissions we can influence, net zero by 2045.

Led by Dr Nick Watts, the NHS’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, the Greener NHS National Programme exists to drive this transformation while delivering against our broader environmental health priorities. Laid out in the NHS Long Term Plan, these extended sustainability commitments range from reducing single-use plastics and water consumption, through to improving air quality.


What are we doing at UHCW?

At UHCW, we want to be at the forefront of where the NHS, and the rest of the world, needs to be on the subject of climate change.

Climate change not only poses a threat to the environment, but also to the health and wellbeing of our patients and surrounding communities.  The combination of risks will increase existing health conditions and give rise to the growing negative mental and physical health impacts that disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our communities.

By recognising these risks, we can begin to implement actions to lessen the negative consequences which are linked to climate change. Our fundamental purpose is to deliver the best possible care for our communities through local integrated care, valuing and empowering our people, being a centre of excellence, promoting sustainability and advancing research, innovation and teaching.

To view a summary of our Green Plan (2023-2026), click here.


Or if you would prefer to read our in-depth Green Plan (2023-2026), which details how we seek to embed sustainability and low carbon practice in the way we offer vital healthcare services and help the NHS to become the first health service in the world with net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, click here.