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Sustainability & Climate Network

Sustainability & Climate Network

Welcome to Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action at ELFT. Here you’ll find all the information, plans, achievements and resources you need to join us in our vision of a sustainable healthcare system beyond fossil fuels.

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The climate and ecological emergency is a health emergency that demands the urgent attention of healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations. At East London NHS Foundation Trust, we are dedicated to improving the health of our communities and delivering services that are efficient and effective. From 2015 on, our Sustainability Development Management Plan delivered impressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

In June 2021 ELFT declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency, with a commitment to raise awareness and drive down emissions from the work that we do. Working with all our stakeholders, service users, carers, communities, staff and partners, we have committed to a more ambitious approach.

To succeed, we must focus our effort on actions that adequately meet this challenge and integrate sustainability into all the work that we do.

We understand that the climate and ecological crisis is fundamentally a public health crisis that threatens the health of our communities. Air pollution alone accounts for thousands of excess deaths and is linked to neuro-developmental damage and dementia. The mental health impacts of the climate crisis are profound. Many of the same systemic problems and social determinants of health also contribute to the unequal effects of the climate and ecological crisis. Healthcare itself accounts for 5% of our national emissions. We will need a monumental effort from all parts of society to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and prevent the most devastating impacts of climate change both locally and globally. The health and social co-benefits of sustained action have never been clearer.

We now need to do more, much more, to reduce the Trust’s carbon footprint in all our operations. Our Green Plan outlines the ways in which we plan to reduce our emissions in the next 3 years and looks to even greater gains over the next 20 years and beyond. We are committing here to use our resources and our influence in innovative ways that are also rooted in social justice. We will continue to work alongside stakeholders and partners as we go, to ensure the plan remains fit for purpose and responds to the environment around us.

Delivering the plan will depend very much on the enthusiasm, expertise and focus of all our staff and communities. As a key part of our Trust strategy, we are committed to making the gains from this climate action plan a reality, for all our futures.