As a system, the L&SC ICB working with NHS organisations and partners to prevent people from getting sick and improve communities’ health. 
On 1 July 2022, the NHS became the first health system in the world to embed net zero into legislation, through the Health and Care Act 2022. 

Two targets are outlined in the statutory guidance Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service report:

  • Emissions we control directly to be net zero by 2040, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2028 to 2032
  • Emissions we can influence to be net zero by 2045, with an ambition to reach an 80% reduction by 2036 to 2039


Greener NHS

Climate change poses a major threat to our health as well as our planet. The environment is changing, that change is accelerating, and this has direct and immediate consequences for our patients, the public and the NHS.

This section is part of our support to the Greener NHS programme and their effort to reduce the environmental impact on public health and the environment, save money and reach net carbon zero.

What's happening

Training and Events

e-Learning Modules

The Carbon Literacy for Healthcare elearning is comprised of five elearning modules that cover climate science, impacts and policy, before focusing on climate change and health and effective climate communication. Each module concludes with an assessment to test your knowledge.

The Carbon Literacy Project offers everyone access to a day’s worth of climate change learning, certifying successful participants and organisations, and their learning and action, as Carbon Literate.

Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme

Sponsored by the Chief Sustainability Officer and managed by FMLM, the scheme has been established to identify and support clinicians who want to develop as clinical leaders and sustainability champions of the future. It offers clinicians with a passion for sustainability a unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills and support the NHS to realise its net zero ambitions.

Those appointed to the scheme will work by engaging directly with the most senior leaders in the NHS, helping to embed net zero carbon principles across the healthcare system.

Find out more on their website.

Greener NHS Knowledge Hub - FutureNHS

NHS staff with an interest in sustainability are invited to join the Greener NHS Knowledge Hub on FutureNHS. This workspace connects you to information, tools and resources, and provides a space for you to share your knowledge, ideas and best practice. You can also see a wide range of case studies and join our discussion forum. Join now.

RCGP Learning

CPD*: 0.5 credits
*These courses are 30 minutes in duration each, worth a minimum of 0.5 credits each. You are encouraged to reflect on any impact that this module has had on your practice and claim the actual time to complete and reflect on the course for your CPD log.
We  are currently in a climate emergency – this affects every facet of our lives, including healthcare. In this introduction to sustainable healthcare, we will discuss the carbon footprint of primary care and the opportunities to reduce our emissions in both the short and the long term.

This course aims to educate GPs about how we can improve asthma outcomes whilst reducing the carbon footprint of inhaler prescribing. It will outline opportunities to improve patient disease control and optimise inhaler device prescribing and will signpost to step-by-step quality improvement tools to implement this work in practice. For GPs based in England, completing this course will support achievement of the Investment and Impact Fund criteria on respiratory care and sustainability from April 2022 – April 2024. Much of the information about greener inhaler choices also applies to patients who use inhalers for other reasons, e.g. COPD.

Find out more and complete here.

The 2020 report “Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service” committed the NHS to becoming the first health service in the world to achieve carbon net zero. General practice can reduce the environmental impact of delivering care. This course will help you identify emission hotspots and the actions needed to reduce the non-clinical carbon emissions.

Find out more and complete here.

Nursing and Midwifery Sustainability Enabling Framework Workshops

The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England, Dame Ruth May, has launched the development of a professional strategy for nursing and midwifery that will set out the direction of travel and ambitions for the professions.  

One of the areas of focus is sustainability. To support Greener NHS ambitions, they are developing an enabling framework to support professional identity, engagement and practice in this area. Through a series of facilitated online workshops the CNO aims to identify clearly the role of nurses and midwives in the sustainability agenda. 

Nurses and midwives working across health and social care, and nursing and midwifery students are invited you to sign up to one of the upcoming workshops

What's happening

Resources & Updates

Communicating on climate change and health: Toolkit for health professionals

While climate change is a big threat to health, implementing solutions to address climate change presents a huge opportunity to promote better health and protect people from climate-sensitive diseases. Communicating the health risks of climate change and the health benefits of climate solutions is both necessary and helpful. Health professionals are well-placed to play a unique role in helping their communities understand climate change, protect themselves, and realize the health benefits of climate solutions. 
This toolkit aims to help health professionals effectively communicate about climate change and health.

Funding available for practices to develop green spaces

There is some possible funding from NHS Property Services to support the development of green spaces. Practices must meet a set of criteria to be considered.

Read more

Good medical practice from the General Medical Council (GMC)

The GMC’s ‘Good medical practice’ which sets out the standards of patient care and professional behaviour expected of all doctors in the UK, across all specialties, career stages and sectors, has been updated. 

Find out more here.

Greener NHS 10 point green plan for practices

This 10-point plan has been developed by the Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB alongside primary care colleagues, to help guide practices to reduce their environmental impact in line with the NHS’ net zero ambitions.

Read more on the L&SC ICB webpage.

Check out the Cheshire and Merseyside PDF version here.


The NHS Forest team at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare recently worked with Forest Research to develop a groundbreaking report on the monetary benefits of trees and woodland on the NHS estate. Read more.

The risk to public health arising from the climate crisis is clear.

Sustainability in healthcare is a priority and we recognise the connection, relevance, and impact on human health and the practice of individual medical professionals. That is why in Good medical practice 2024 we set a specific duty that medical professionals should choose sustainable solutions. 

In this resource, GMC answer questions on how this could apply, suggest ways to practise sustainably and signpost to organisations that show how this is being done.


Planet centred care is a new podcast series from the BMJ exploring issues related to environmentally sustainable healthcare, aimed at all clinicians, and anyone working in healthcare, who want to make sure they can continue to help patients whilst not harming the planet.

Join former Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow, Dr Florence Wedmore and guests to explore various topics within sustainable healthcare.

Listen now

See Sustainability has a wide range of excellent resources including, videos, podcasts, slides, documents and reports for NHS Primary Care. 

Healthcare professionals and patients often assume that liquids are the most suitable oral medicinal formulation for children and young people. However, swapping liquids to pills can be safer, more cost effective, more acceptable to patients and carers, and is likely to reduce the carbon footprint of prescribing. Read more on BMJ’s website here

Green Impact Dentistry launches!

Any dental practice in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland can now sign-up to take part for free.

Green Impact is an internationally recognised sustainability learning and awards scheme with practical advice and tips for dental practices who want to improve their sustainability and social responsibility. Over the year dental teams work through a freely accessible online toolkit, co-designed by sustainability and dentistry experts, which guides them on strategically embedding sustainability within their practice and championing health and wellbeing through positive sustainability actions.

 Register your practice here to start making an impact. If you are based in Wales, you should take part in the Greener Primary Care Wales frameworkcoordinated by Public Health Wales.

For more information please get in touch with [email protected]


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