NHS Scotland climate emergency and sustainability strategy: 2022-2026

This document sets out plans for NHS Scotland to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and impact on the environment, adapt to climate change and to better contribute to the United Nation sustainable development goals. It has been developed by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland Assure.

About this Strategy

1. This document sets out the approach and actions which will be taken by NHS Scotland, with support from the Scottish Government and working in partnership with others, to respond to the climate emergency and to contribute towards the achievement of the United Nations' (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This document focuses on improving the environmental sustainability of the NHS while also recognising the role that the NHS has in relation to the UN SDGs relating to social and economic development.

2. The document covers the period 2022 to 2026. It sets out actions which will either begin in that period, be completed during it, or are already underway and will continue during that time. It also sets out aims and targets for the NHS which go beyond 2026. The actions in this strategy are directed at achieving the aims and targets set by the Scottish Government for NHS Scotland in DL (2021) 38: 'A Policy for NHS Scotland on the Climate Emergency and Sustainable Development'.[1]

3. Delivery of this strategy will be supported by the Scottish Government's Care & Wellbeing Portfolio. Through the Portfolio, we are working to bring together key reforms into a single coherent portfolio to improve population health and wellbeing, reduce health inequalities and improve the sustainability of the health and social care system. We are looking to create the best environment to stimulate national and local action to tackle these issues and take a systematic approach to planning and delivering care and wellbeing. The Portfolio's objectives are focused on coherence, sustainability and improved outcomes. Climate change and net zero are one of the Portfolio's priority areas.


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