Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature BMJ Group Awards

Sustainable Healthcare: Getting more from less

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 20 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2425
  1. Kirsten Patrick, assistant editor
  1. 1BMJ, London WC1H 9JR, UK
  1. kpatrick{at}

Increases in greenhouse gas emissions and their potential adverse effects on human health are often discussed in the BMJ. Although health is affected by climate change, the healthcare sector contributes massively to greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009 a report in JAMA estimated that nearly one tenth of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States were generated by the healthcare sector (doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1610). Although this figure may be higher than the global average, it shows the magnitude of the carbon footprint of an industry that is both necessary and likely to increase in scale globally as population sizes increase and services improve. Healthcare needs to become more sustainable.

This year the BMJ Group’s Sustainable Healthcare award will recognise an organisation that has gone beyond its core business of providing healthcare and has committed to and achieved greater sustainability. Three entries have been shortlisted for the award, which is sponsored by the Climate and Health Council.

Sandwell Primary Care Trust, UK

Over the past two years Sandwell Primary Care Trust in the West Midlands has implemented several policies that are in line with the NHS Sustainable …

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