Our NHS, Our People, Our Planet: A Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy for 2020 and Beyond

24 September 2019 9:30
24 September 2019 16:15
COSLA Conference Centre Verity House 19 Haymarket Yards Edinburgh EH12 5BH

 Event Description


Welcome to the fourth NHSScotland Sustainability Conference 2019 brought to you by NHS Health Scotland, NHS National Services Scotland and the Scottish Managed Sustainable Health Network (SMaSH).

In light of Scottish Government’s declaration of a Climate Emergency, this year’s Sustainability Conference 2019 provides an opportunity for staff from all disciplines across the NHS to engage with and contribute to the development of the NHSScotland Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy 2020-25, to be launched in March 2020.

The world is changing due to climate change and NHSScotland supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to make Scotland a net zero greenhouse gas emissions country by 2045. Together we can help create a healthier environment for Our NHS, Our People and Our Planet.

This year’s speakers

A keynote address from Malcolm Wright, Director General Health and Social Care and Chief Executive of NHSScotland will set the ambition for the conference.

Plenary sessions from Dr Fiona Adshead, a high profile wellbeing and public health leader with a track record of reframing thinking and developing innovative strategy and programmes at the heart of business and government, and Dr Dave Gorman, Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh will provide inspiration and insight on wellbeing and sustainability issues.

The lead on the Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy for NHSScotland, Dr Rebecca Campbell, Public Health Registrar, Scottish Managed Sustainable Health Network (SMaSH), will set the scene for an afternoon session to facilitate your input to the strategy.

Breakout Sessions

As well as inspirational speakers, we will also be offering breakout sessions linked to the three NHSScotland Sustainability Action themes of Our NHS, Our People, and Our Planet. These will span best practice governance for sustainability across the NHS and supporting sustainability policies, nature and biodiversity, sustainable healthcare, adaptation to climate change and inspiring behavioural change. 

The programme will present best-practice examples and expert views from across Scotland that explore how the delivery of high quality patient services come with essential sustainability co-benefits that support the drive to a greener and healthier NHSScotland.

Please choose one of the following sessions to attend when you register.

1. Governance & Policy: Towards a ‘Net Zero’ NHS  

This session will consider how NHSScotland can transition towards becoming a ‘net-zero’ emissions organisation. Existing emissions reduction case studies will be discussed to ascertain whether these could be replicated across other areas of the NHS. The concept of ‘net-zero’ in a healthcare context will be considered and key questions discussed: What should be included when measuring NHS emissions? How can we measure the impact of our supply chain? Should the NHS be off-setting residual emissions, and what form of off-setting would be acceptable?

 Presenter(s): Kate Dapre, Head of Energy and Sustainability, NHS National Services Scotland

 2. Our NHS: Greenspace / Nature & Biodiversity

It is well known that being outside in nature is proven to reduce stress, instil a sense of calmness and is essential to our happiness and overall health and well-being. This session will explore what is happing across the NHS – and in partnership – to promote the benefits of being out in green spaces and nature and to make stronger connections between health services and use of the outdoor environment.

 Presenter(s): Vicki Trim, Green Health Partnership Manager, NHSLanarkshire and Elaine Caldow, Public Health Programme Lead, NHS Ayrshire & Arran

 3. Our People: Community / Sustainable Care

There are known links between fuel poverty and health with existing evidence suggesting that those living in cold, damp and energy-inefficient homes can be at risk of negative outcomes in both physical and mental health. This session will consider the findings of an ongoing evaluation which is investigating the impacts of energy-efficiency improvements on the health and well-being of the occupants. The study began in 2015 and is being conducted by the Energy Agency partnership with NHS Ayrshire and Arran and local authorities in the South West of Scotland.

 Presenter(s): Liz Marquis, Director, Energy Agency and Cassandra Dove, Research Officer, Energy Agency

 4. Our People: Awareness

The NHSScotland ‘Sustainability Action’ brand has been developed to support Health Boards in their efforts to raise awareness of climate change and sustainability issues and to promote behavioural change amongst staff. This session will present best practice case study examples from the various campaigns underway along with ‘lessons learned’  The range of support available to NHS staff will be explored along with opportunities on how you can get involved.

 Presenter(s): Alex Hilliam, Behaviour Change Specialist, Alex Hilliam Research

 5. Our Planet: Adaptation to Climate Change

Scotland’s climate is warming and we are facing more extreme weather and rising sea levels. Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC will require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. More work is urgently needed to prepare the personnel, the systems and the facilities of the NHS, as well as other institutions involved in health care, for the implications of unavoidable climate change. This session will consider what NHSScotland is currently doing to monitor the developing impacts of climate change, and what more needs to be done to ensure we are properly prepared.

 Presenter(s): Caitlin Hamlett, Sustainability Manager, NHS National Services Scotland and Rachel Brisley, Associate Director,  JBA Consulting.



We would actively encourage you to use sustainable transport options wherever possible. The venue is a short five minute walk from Haymarket Station and bus and tram links. Facilities are available for bike storage at Haymarket Station.


The event is now at maximum capacity. If you would like to join the waiting list please register your interest.

Further information & Contact

Further information will be available in due course.

In the meantime if you have any questions please contact the event planning team.