University College London Hospital (UCLH) has declared a ‘climate and health emergency’ and committed to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2031, an acceleration on the previous commitment of net zero by 2040. As a recent signatory of the Camden Climate Pledge, UCLH continues to demonstrate its dedication to delivering on these targets.
The 10-point plan commits UCLH to cutting energy emissions by 80 per cent by 2025, which will be achieved by using 100 per cent renewable electricity, cutting plastics, phasing out harmful anaesthetic gases, improving recycling processes, switching to LED lighting and engaging staff on climate topics. This will build on progress made since UCLH’s Green Plan was put in place in 2020 with an investment of more than £2.5m to deliver the programme.
Luke O’Shea, UCLH’s Director of Innovation commented that in a year of extreme events, ‘we are reminded that the climate emergency is a health emergency too and the NHS needs to speak as one on this’.
UCLH is also prioritisng better air quality for its patients, visitors and staff and the Clean Air Hospital Framework provides guidance on how hospitals can best tackle air pollution and become a ‘clean air hospital’. To help engage staff with the topic and promote green travel, UCLH recently completed their annual pedometer challenge. Over 600 staff members took part, totalling 67,357 miles walked in one month.
With support from Global Action Plan and Camden Council, UCLH continue to deliver workshops for staff around air pollution, encouraging the use of public transport and walking or cycling as opposed to private car use. UCLH will be regularly surveying staff to ensure more staff are taking active modes of transport, as part of the monitoring process, UCLH have signed up to two programmes which reward staff for taking part in green initatives. So far, 17 teams have signed up and the aim is to increase this with further engagement activities.
Camden Council and the CCCA continue to support UCLH with achieving their climate ambitions. Read more about what UCLH are doing to tackle the climate crisis here.