12 January 2022

NHS Lothian Charity Launches New Climate Challenge Grants To Help Support Sustainable Healthcare For Future Generations

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NHS Lothian Charity have today launched their new Climate Challenge Grants programme to complement work that is already being undertaken by NHS Lothian to develop a health service that is environmentally sustainable for future generations.

The programme aims to support NHS Lothian staff to deliver projects that will reduce harmful greenhouse gases and help tackle the issues surrounding climate change, limiting their impact on the environment and making a significant difference to public health.

NHS Lothian is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2040 and the road map for this is set out in their Sustainable Development Framework and Action Plan. It is also the first health board in Scotland to have undertaken a Biodiversity Audit and Climate Change Assessment with actions on how to reduce the organisation’s overall carbon footprint and use its green spaces to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities it serves. The funding that has been made available through the Foundation’s Climate Challenge Grants will complement this work and support staff across the whole organisation to take forward initiatives that will help NHS Lothian achieve its vision to be a lead organisation in sustainable healthcare.

Green Health Programme Manager at NHS Lothian Charity, Ian Mackenzie, explains more:

“Climate change poses a major threat not only to our planet but also to our health. Factors such as extreme weather conditions, water and air pollution, and food and fuel poverty pose a major risk to public health. As the official charity, NHS Lothian Charity has a significant role to play in supporting NHS Lothian to do more to meet their ambitious sustainability goals and commitments, and make a meaningful difference to the health and wellbeing of people across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

“There is huge motivation and commitment to embed sustainable practices across NHS Lothian and we are here to support staff implement changes in their own areas that will contribute to the overall aims of organisation. These Climate Challenge Grants are designed to help staff explore new ideas as well as new ways of working and thinking that will help tackle climate change. Small changes can have a big impact, and by finding ways to reduce the unnecessary use of resources across NHS Lothian, staff can help reduce the impact of healthcare activities on the environment and make it sustainable for future generations.

“We are therefore challenging staff to look at their practices through an environmental lens and think about changes they could make; whether that be to improve energy efficiency, recycle or avoid waste, reduce plastic consumption or reduce emissions from travel, and consider how our support can help them achieve that. Staff can also apply for funding to support training to help them improve their knowledge and understanding of sustainability in healthcare settings and how they can translate that into practice.

“As one of the largest public sector organisations in Scotland, NHS Lothian has an important role to play in minimising the environmental impact of healthcare, delivering services in a more sustainable manner, and putting green activities are at the core of promoting health and wellbeing among staff and the wider community. We are here to help support them to achieve this.”

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