The Three Pillars

The link between planetary and human health has still not been firmly established in the public mind.

CAS exists to help help healthcare providers make that connection.

It's a message many of us are reluctant to receive. But the trust vested in healthcare providers gives them the potential to deliver it in a way that foster acceptance and action.

To focus healthcare voices where they can make the most difference, we have developed the three pillars strategy:

  • Improve
  • Educate
  • Advocate.

Pillar One - Improve

Improve sustainability in your institutions, leading by example

Healthcare itself is responsible for a significant quantity of carbon emissions, estimated at 4% in the UK.

With this pillar, healthcare not only reduces its carbon footprint, it also blazes a trail for other organisations to follow.

England’s NHS has committed to net zero emissions by 2040 and in April 2022 it signed a memorandum of understanding with the WHO to work to promote similar efforts around the world.

Please visit our Action Hub for more.

Pillar Two - Educate

Educate yourselves, colleagues and patients about the link between the climate crisis and poor health outcomes

This includes having clinically relevant conversations with patients about their health in the context of the climate crisis.

Studies show that this encourages patients to behave in a more climate-friendly way, with knock-on benefits for both their own health and that of the planet.

In the UK, the ability to consider how a patient’s environment affects their health is already expected professional knowledge for new doctors. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been recommending that the effects of the climate crisis be incorporated into standard guidance practices since 2015.

Pillar Three - Advocate

Advocate to policy-makers for urgent action, and share best practice around how to influence, collaborate and organise effectively.

For example, after Ride for their Lives 2021, Newcastle child healthcare providers began networking with local climate activists, took part in a webinar, and held a public talk at a library on the ride. They wrote to local media about their plans to tackle air pollution in Newcastle, and to their MP which led to a meeting.

Easy first steps include signing the Health Climate prescription letter and joining the Planetary Health Alliance. You can also start connecting with like-minded healthcare providers in the Ride for their Lives group on campaigning community platform HyLo.

Please visit our Action Hub for more.