Our ICS (Gloucestershire) has agreed to fund a General Practice Sustainability Scheme from April 2022 thanks to lobbying by our Greener Practice group members. I am part of the local Greener Practice group and on the ICS sustainability group where this was discussed. I have also signed up 2 of my GP practices to the GIFH award ahead of this scheme.
🌳£3,000 per GP Practice, to nominate a sustainability lead, to sign up to green impact toolkit, to engage with 2 sustainable changes from the GIFH toolkit.
🌳£5,000 per PCN to set up infrastructure to coordinate sustainability across the PCN, producing guides, policies, resources, to support practices implement the toolkit schemes and bringing together sustainability champions.
They have agreed to fund some time for 2 x sustainability leads to get the scheme off the ground.
All very positive but we need to make sure this initiative is enduring beyond 2022 and that sustainability becomes embedded in everything we do everyday 😊
*Please share with your ICS/PCN/GP practices - funding or no funding - it is a great template for the ‘how’ and to get started on the sustainability journey working towards net zero.*
As a student thinking about my future in pharmacy, I hoped to one day work in reducing healthcare's impact on the environment but I had no idea how to achieve this. I attended a talk by Tracy Lyons on climate change and health and through learning about Pharmacy Declares, this goal is now attainable. Since joining Pharmacy Declares, I have learnt so much about pharmacy's role in climate change and planetary health and ways in which to drive and create change from a group of very inspiring people.
Ellie is also working on the Planetary Health Report Card.
Through my study of geology and from doing an MSc in Earth Sciences I became aware of how the climate had changed during our planet’s history. But it also made acutely aware of the most recent anthropogenic changes which threaten humanity and our health. This inspired me, both professionally and personally, to act. Professionally, I have written articles and presented at national and international conferences on how pharmacy should adapt to mitigate climate change. Personally, I have changed my bank account and pensions to those that do not fund fossil fuels and am in the process of converting from a gas boiler to a heat pump and solar power.
As an avid gardener I also attempt to minimise my impact on climate change. Having an allotment means I am almost self sufficient in my vegetarian diet, so no food miles for me! I follow the no-dig method, which helps to conserve carbon in the soil and increases biodiversity. No herbicides or pesticides are used, and I make all the compost that I use to increase soil fertility. Through an online community ShareWaste.com I now also gather food waste and coffee grounds from others to convert into compost. Last year Netflix, who were filming in the area, contacted me to collect the food waste from the filming site. I doubt I’ll get a mention in the end credits though!
I also started volunteering for a local charity CleanConscience.org.uk who are committed to reducing corporate and hospitality carbon footprints by reclaiming and redistributing surplus items. Pre-covid, this was primarily reclaiming the small toiletry bottles and soaps from hotels and repacking into large containers for distribution to Africa. Some of the items are also repacked into care kits for those in need in the UK. I am now a Trustee of the charity, which is expanding into reclaiming and redistributing larger items which would otherwise go to landfill.
Meeting up with the other co-founders of Pharmacy Declares has been so refreshing. In a short space of time so much has been achieved, from lobbying the professional organisations to divest from fossil fuel investments through to sharing best practice with others in the pharmacy profession. Together we can make a difference.