Healthcare sustainability

The RCP’s healthcare sustainability programme aims to reduce the environmental, social and financial impacts of the health service, without compromising the health of our patients and our ability to provide healthcare in the future.

What we are doing

Each year, the NHS produces more carbon emissions than all the planes taking off from Heathrow combined, which contribute significantly to global climate change and presents a huge and imminent threat to health, and therefore service demand. The college is running a programme of work to support the understanding of what healthcare sustainability looks like in the context of modern society.

It is important to ensure that health services are financially viable and environmentally sustainable, in order to safeguard the future health of our patients and the health services availability in the future.

Through interviews, focus groups, case studies, and events, the project will:

  • promote the value and importance of healthcare sustainability to the health service and front line physicians
  • identify best practice of healthcare sustainability
  • develop resources and recommendation to support the promotion and implementation of healthcare stability.

Contact the team at to find out how you can get involved in the programme.

What we have produced

Simple changes to how health professionals procure and dispose of medical supplies can have a positive influence on societal health and wellbeing.

Breaking the fever: Sustainability and climate change in the NHS gives an overview of the impact of climate change on healthcare in the UK, and how physicians and the NHS can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.