BSW plan to tackle climate emergency given green light

The partner organisations that make up the BSW Together Integrated Care System (ICS) have started work on a plan to reduce the environmental and carbon impact of health and care services, with a view to achieving net zero by 2040 for direct emissions, and 2045 for wider emissions.

Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of harmful greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. For the BSW health and care system to reach net zero the amount of greenhouse gasses we add will need to be no more than the amount taken away.

The pledge to act on carbon emissions was approved recently at a public meeting when BSW Together’s Green Plan was approved by the BSW Integrated Care Board.

As well as ambitious plans to address carbon emissions, the BSW Together Green Plan also set’s out a sustainability plan covering our buildings, travel and transport, use of resources, workforce and future care models.

Although most of the actions within the plan are intended for NHS organisations, BSW Together has engaged with wider health and care partners such as non-NHS providers, local authorities and others through the development of the plan and hopes that many of the actions can be delivered across the Integrated Care System.

Gary Heneage, BSW Integrated Care Board Chief Finance Officer and Executive Lead for the Green Plan said starting work on delivering the plan was important because “the climate emergency is a health emergency.”

“If we fail to take coordinated action on climate change, then we are failing to address the biggest health risk that we face as a society.”

He added that the Plan set out a coordinated action plan for BSW Together to help tackle the climate emergency.

“If we work alone, we can make meaningful local changes. Like every household, we can make sure we are using energy efficiently, we can change the way we power and heat our buildings, we can reduce our waste. But if we work together, we can tackle the fundamental issues that stand in the way of achieving net zero for our population.”

“We can provide reimagined, greener services by working together in new ways. We can utilise our collaborative buying power to ensure that we are promoting sustainability and adding social value when we buy things or commission services. We can reorganise the way that we travel and transport supplies around BSW to reduce our carbon footprint.”

“The NHS is under greater pressure than ever, and it will not be easy, but this plan represents a firm commitment from all of us as partners to achieve net zero and to do our part to avert the climate crisis.”

BSW Together’s vision:

  • 60% of BSW Together members will achieve net zero for the emissions we directly control by 2030
  • 100% of BSW Together members will achieve net zero for the emissions we
  • directly control by 2040
  • 100% of BSW Together members will achieve net zero for the emissions we can influence by 2045