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The UK's primary care sustainability network

Clinical considerations

Approximately 60% of the carbon emissions of primary care arise from our clinical work.

Primary care is responsible for a significant proportion of the NHS’ carbon footprint because it is where most of the prescribing happens.

The majority of General Practice’s carbon footprint comes from prescribing. The clinical actions that reduce our carbon footprint are aligned with our existing health priorities and evidence-based, person-centred practice. This BMJ article outlines Six steps to both greener and better primary care. We can significantly reduce our carbon footprint by supporting health and wellbeing (e.g. nature-based interventions, social prescribing, de-prescribing where appropriate and low-carbon prescribing). Person-centred medicine, which works in collaboration with patients on what matters to them, is likely to lead to improved patient empowerment and self-care. Greener practice can deliver win-win solutions for patients and the planet.