Environmental Sustainability and Healthcare

This guide aims to make the evidence and networks supporting environmental sustainability in healthcare easier to discover, supporting learning and transformation. If you would like to find more evidence around sustainability to support work that you are doing, our evidence search service may be able to save you time and help you to find the best information. 

"The climate emergency is a health emergency. Climate change threatens the foundations of good health, with direct and immediate consequences for our patients, the public and the NHS.......This is because the drivers of climate change are also the drivers of ill health and health inequalities." (NHS England and NHS Improvement (2022), Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service)

Useful Websites

Greener NHS works with staff, hospitals and NHS partners. This site updates regularly on national efforts to achieve the vision 'to deliver the world’s first net zero health service and respond to climate change, improving health now and for future generations.' Links to relevant NHS strategy and reports, case studies from different NHS Trusts, suggestions for individual and organisational actions. Greener NHS publishes a monthly bulletin and hosts a Future NHS space for networking and knowledge sharing.

Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.World leading charity dedicated to developing knowledge and resources for healthcare systems, including the NHS, to achieve net-zero carbon emissions and broader sustainability goals. The website is a rich source of evidence on sustainability, including a case study library, regularly updated resource library and an extensive education programme.

UK Health Alliance on Climate Change. Supports healthcare professionals to advocate for fair responses to the climate crisis, promote associated health benefits, and to make changes in their personal and professional lives to address the issue. Site includes inks to key resources for achieving each of the commitments - guiding principles for health organisations to demonstrate leadership and take steps to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Greener Healthcare and Sustainability Project (GHASP). A network supporting healthcare professionals with tools and a space for members to share knowledge, prior experience and support each other in the aims of decarbonising healthcare and educating others. Includes introductory educational resources on the climate crisis and what the healthcare profession can do. 

NHS Forest An alliance of health sites working to transform their green spaces for health, wellbeing and biodiversity. The initiative is run by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. The site includes a regularly updated database of evidence on green space and health, as well as a useful links page. 

International Organisations

Healthcare Without Harm A network of thousands of hospitals, healthcare leaders and healthcare professionals, with members across Europe and partners across the globe. 

Planetary Health Alliance A growing consortium of over 380 universities, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, and government entities from 60+ countries around the world committed to understanding and addressing the impacts of global environmental change on human health and wellbeing.

Profession and Specialty Networks and Resources

Sustainability in Quality Improvement

Why is sustainability needed as part of QI? 
"Planning for sustainability is so fundamental to health and to the continuation of care provision that sustainability should be considered an aspect of quality in healthcare.The Royal College of Physicians has identified sustainability as a domain of quality “which must run through and moderate other domains” (safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and patient-centredness)." (SusQI)

Sustainability in quality improvement: redefining value Future Healthcare Journal 2018 Vol 5, No 2: 88–93

Sustainability in Quality Improvement (SusQI)  SusQI provides a huge range of resources including step by step guides and tools, educator packs and example project reports, and a supportive network for improvers.

Q Network Special Interest Group: Sustainable Healthcare A forum to share case studies of improvment work in sustainable practice and discuss the challenges. 

Fab NHS Stuff: QI for Patients, People and Planet. Watch presentations and download resources from the event Our People, Our Planet – quality improvement for greener healthcare and wellbeing. Features a range of projects and case studies as well as more general information about sustainable QI.

SusQI at Barts Health  QI projects with a sustainability focus. 


Browse our library books related to sustainable healthcare, improvement and lifestyle. 

Most of these are ebooks, accessible from anywhere with your OpenAthens username and password. 

To borrow a print book, you need to join your library service. You can then visit the library from which the book is available during opening hours. Alternatively, contact us to request the book or place a hold through the catalogue, and arrange to collect the book from the library which is most convenient for you. If you can't make it to the library during opening hours, contact us to discuss options - we may be able to send the book to you. 

If you would like to access a book that is not available in the Leeds Libraries for Health catalogue, we may be able to to borrow it for you from another NHS library service. To request a book that is not on our catalogue, please contact us.

Journals and Evidence Collections


Evidence Collections:


Planet centred care: a new podcast series for the BMJ. Six episodes 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 while not harming the planet.

Sharp Scratch, BMJ Podcast Planet Earth on Red Alert

The Planetary Health Alliance have a spotify playlist collating podcasts discussing planetary health topics.

Treating You (Barts Health): Clean Air Day 

The Lancet Voice: Health and climate change: what happened at COP26?, an episode of The Lancet Voice podcast.

RCN's Nursing Matters: Climate Change, Healthcare and Why COP26 Matters.

Aural Apothecary: Planetary Health, the Carbon Footprint of Medicines - and exploding batteries...".


Local Networks and Plans

Leeds Teaching Hospitals: Sustainability, Energy and Waste Team (Intranet site, requires LTHT log in). Access the LTHT Green Plan and Estates Decarbonisation Strategy, read the latest sustainability news and get involved in sustainability initiatives. Join the GRASP Rewards scheme -  log your positive actions and searn green points. 

Watch a recording of the library's 2022 'Talking Point' session with the LTHT sustainability team to find out more about the Green Plan. (LTHT intranet log in required)

Leeds Community Healthcare: Sustainability  and Green Plan  (Intranet pages, requires LCH log in)

Leeds York Partnership Foundation Trust: Green Plan


Beyond healthcare:

Climate Action Leeds: Climate Action Leeds provides a platform for people, organisations and communities to come together to take action on climate change, in Leeds and beyond. The aim of the project is to help shape a Leeds which is zero carbon, nature friendly and socially just by the 2030s. The site includes links to a wide range of Leeds climate groups. 

Leeds Green Activity Provider Network  Connects organisations in Leeds that deliver nature-based activities to improve health and well-being. Works to raise understanding and awareness of green activities amongst relevant health professionals, with a focus on health inequalities.

Leeds City Council's climate change plan

Clean Air Leeds Data and information about air quality in Leeds, impacts on health and measures to deal with air pollution. 

Key Papers and Reports

NHS England and NHS Improvement (2022) Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service. This report gives details of the data and analytics around the NHS net zero ambition and the steps to be taken to achieve this. 

Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, The Planetary Emergency: What is it and how to take action An introductory article for healthcare professionals concerned about the planetary health emergency, who want to find out what they can do to take climate action.

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change (2020) Policy brief for the UK This policy brief presents data from the 2020 global Lancet Countdown report, with a focus on three key themes: sustainable and resilient cities; healthcare sector emissions; and reaching net zero across sectors.

The public health implications of the Paris Agreement: a modelling study A greater consideration of health in the NDCs and climate change mitigation policies has the potential to yield considerable health benefits as well as achieve the “well below 2°C” commitment across a range of regional and economic contexts.

Keep Up to Date

Sustainability in healthcare bulletin: a monthly digest of the latest research published on sustainability in healthcare, produced by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Libraries. View previous content.

Sustainability in healthcare bulletin - Hampshire Healthcare Library ServiceA monthly bulletin, with all back issues available online. 

Greener NHS: monthly bulletin 'for anyone who would like to know more about the progress we are making towards our net zero ambition and how to get involved in building a greener NHS.'

Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Newsletter: sent out monthly to keep you up to date on sustainable healthcare news, events, resources, and educational opportunities.

NHS Forest newsletter: sent out every couple of months and shares news, events and highlights from across the green space network.

Recent Publications


An OpenAthens account gives all NHS staff and learners access to a wide range of online resources.