How healthcare contributes to the climate crisis | Our news

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How healthcare contributes to the climate crisis

GASP was born back in 2018 when two anaesthetic trainees grew fed up of the amount of waste that was being produced in theatres.

Now with 60 commitee members, GASP volunteers now work across four areas: education, advocacy, improvement and consulting. 

Four years ago we were two anaesthetists at Barts Health frustrated with the amount of waste we were creating in theatres. Thanks to the support of Neil Allen and his amazing team GASP has now flourished into an international multidisciplinary organisation working to reduce the environmental impact of healthcare - Jonathan Groome, anaesthetist

How does healthcare add to the climate crisis?

  • Healthcare contributes to 4.4% of global emissions, meaning if healthcare were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter on the planet 
  • There is a strong correlation between healthcare spending and emissions - those who spend more on healthcare emit more
  • Health and social care make up 6% of the carbon footprint in the UK, emitting the equivalent of 25 megatonnes of carbon dioxide

What contributes to emissions?

  • 62% of the carbon footprint comes from medicines, equipment and supply chain
  • 15% from energy, water and waste
  • 5% from anaesthetic gases and inhalers 
  • 14% from travel
  • 4% from commissioned health services

This year, GASP were the environment and climate action team of the year at the BMJ awards

There are many things you can do personally such as eating sustainably, using active travel and switching to a renewable energy supplier. You can also tackle the crisis in your professional life too such as travelling smart, not drawing up drugs 'just in case' and fighting back against single use items. 

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