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Sustaining a healthy future

Sustaining a Healthy Future – taking action on climate change urges those in the health and healthcare community to take the lead in tackling climate change and promoting sustainable development.

It shows how organisations such as the NHS are ideally placed to use their immense spending power to make sustainable choices in its energy, building and transport policies. And provide a powerful example to others on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthy, sustainable future.

What's it about?

It explains clearly and concisely:

  • the causes and consequences of climate change
  • the effects of health of climate change
  • what sustainable development is
  • how sustainable development is inextricably linked with the public health agenda
  • what tools exist for challenging climate change
  • how you can help make your organisation a good corporate citizen.
  • how you can work together with other organisations in your local community to promote sustainable development and its links with health.

How can it help me and my organisation?

Sustaining a Healthy Future includes :

  • checklists for practical action
  • policy recommendations
  • a health-check tool against which all organisational strategies can be measured
  • examples of existing good practice
  • a directory of useful organisations and resources.

Endorsers and Comments

Association of Directors of Public Health
In one hundred years' time, it is almost inconceivable that the ever growing numbers of us will be able to consume at the present rate. Sustainable development should be the mantra that we infuse into our children and our children's children.
Dr Tim Crayford
President, Association of Directors of Public Health
British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
BTCV recognise the challenges which climate change present to everyone's health and wellbeing. This guide, and programmes such as the BTCV Green Gym, help people take positive action and make a real difference to the world in which they live, work and enjoy.
Mr Tom Flood CBE
Chief Executive, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
Carbon Trust
To proactively manage carbon emissions it is vital that NHS Trusts assign suitable resources to track and reduce emissions across the full range of their organisation’s activity. Successful reduction strategies rely on sustained senior management commitment to enable change across the organisation. Those organisation’s leading the way have a plan that not only targets their own direct emissions but also looks to engage with patients, neighbouring businesses and other local public sector organisations.
Tom Cumberledge
Carbon Trust
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Climate change will impact on our lives, our health and our very existence over the coming decades. It is the responsibility of all organisations to reach out to their communities and stakeholders and give them the tools to help reduce the causes and mitigate the effects. This guide is one of the first of many to address the policy and practical challenges we face – use it, urgently!
Mr Graham Jukes
Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Climate & Health Council
This pamphlet will be of immediate and practical use for all those health professionals who wish to be part of the solution to climate change. It will, I am sure, play an important role in amplifying the health professional voice in this most critical of issues to face the 21st Century.
Dr Robin Stott
Chair, Climate and Health Council
Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
Institute of Public Health in Ireland
Climate change will impact on our lives, our health and our very existence over the coming decades. [We] welcome this guide which outlines the issues which we all need to face up to in taking action to create a sustainable environment. As in many other areas of public health the impact will be felt most greatly by people in vulnerable groups. Our main focus must be to ensure that improving equity in health is at the forefront of our action. We want to support other colleagues in the UK and internationally to tackle one of the most significant issues in public health.
Prof Jane Wilde
Chief Executive, Institute of Public Health in Ireland
Local Government Association
Neil McKay, Chief Executive, NHS East of England
The impact of climate change on communities has never been starker. The NHS, as a major consumer of resources and as leaders with our partners in protecting and improving the health and wellbeing of the population, needs to be at the centre of developing strategies to sustain a healthy future.
This responsibility is widely recognised but there is still much to be done to help the NHS community to understand, in a practical sense, how to fulfil this responsibility. This guide to tackling climate change, published by the Faculty of Public Health is an excellent contribution to the resources available to the NHS to help understand the impact of climate change on communities and how the NHS can deliver its contribution. It should be essential reading to anyone involved in the development of local policies to sustain healthy futures.
National Heart Forum
NHS Confederation
The NHS has a major role to play to help tackle climate change. This report shows that by addressing some key aspects such as energy use, transport and waste the NHS can have a considerable impact on reducing its carbon footprint.
Dr Gill Morgan
Chief Executive, NHS Confederation
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Sustaining a Healthy Future lays out the challenge, the evidence and the potential health benefits and the check lists offer us all a way forward. The NHS, as an employer, educator and consumer has a real opportunity to make an impact. I would hope this guide can help stimulate action.
Neil Douglas
President, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow is happy to support the major themes of the Faculty of Public Health document "Sustaining a Healthy Future: A guide to tackling climate change.
Prof Paul Knight
Registrar, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of London
The global impact of climate change is a topic which is never far from all our minds or out of the media. Importantly it is an area where physicians can play a leading role in advocating responsible action. The Faculty of Public Health's guide to tackling climate change - Sustaining a Healthy Future - is a major contribution to the topic. The guide sets out a series of practical steps doctors and others can take to improve and sustain public health. Bearing in mind the environmental challenges we are all facing, the guide will be a valuable resource for all NHS staff.
Prof Ian Gilmore
President, Royal College of Physicians of London
Royal Institute of Public Health
Royal Society of Health
Scottish Healthy Environment Network Steering Group
The pocket guide helpfully and succinctly sets out the issues, and what we can do on an individual and organisational basis to address these issues. Its description of the clear links with health is very useful.
Scottish Healthy Environment Network
Sustain
It's vital that the food served in publicly funded institutions - like hospitals, schools and care homes - is healthy, sustainable and delicious. If we don't provide good food there - for some of the most vulnerable in society - when are we going to provide it? Local, fresh products, traded fairly, and produced to high standards that protect animal welfare and the environment, can also stimulate the local economy, as well as tickle the tastebuds. It's time to move from isolated examples of good practice, towards making sustainable food procurement routine.
Anne Dolamore
Chair, Sustain
Sustainable Development Commission
Sustaining a Healthy Future recognises the challenge that climate change poses to health, and the vital role the health sector must play in taking action against it.
Anna Coote
Commissioner for Health, Sustainable Development Commission
Sustrans
Climate change and obesity are the two great policy challenges of our age. This means that sustainable development and healthy living are now policy priorities. We are so pleased to see the Faculty taking the lead in this area, and wholeheartedly support the new guide.
John Grimshaw
Chief Executive, Sustrans
UK Public Health Association
The development of this guidance has been endorsed and promoted throughout the UKPHA's Climates & Change work and we are delighted that it will now be made available to a wider constituency.
Angela Mawle
Chief Executive, UK Public Health Association

Special focus on the NHS

The Faculty of Public Health (in association with the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and the NHS Confederation) has published a new handbook, Sustaining a Healthy Future – Taking action on climate change. Its contents range from individual action plans encouraging recycling and walking, to step-by-step checklists on how to integrate realistic carbon-reduction measures into organisation-wide strategies and policies.  The handbook aims to show that sustainable management, working and living is an achievable objective across NHS hospitals, clinics and practices.

Endorsers

  • Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
  • Association of Directors of Public Health
  • British Trust for Conservation Volunteers
  • Carbon Trust
  • Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
  • Climate and Health Council
  • Paul Cosford, Regional Director of Public Health, NHS East of England
  • Phil Hope MP, Minister of State for Care Services and Minister for the East Midlands
  • Institute of Public Health in Ireland
  • Neil McKay, Chief Executive, NHS East of England
  • National Heart Forum
  • David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive, Department of Health England
  • Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
  • Royal College of Physiciansof Edinburgh
  • Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
  • Royal College of Physicians of London
  • Royal Society for Public Health
  • Scottish Healthy Environment Network Steering Group
  • Sustain
  • Sustrans
  • UK Public Health Association

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