The impact of climate change and sustainability on health and healthcare provision is of concern to our members, as it is to our patients and the wider population. Many of our members are already involved in projects to address these issues. Globally, climate change has major adverse effects on gastrointestinal and liver health, and the ability to deliver effective healthcare. Environmental sustainability of healthcare provision causes concerns including emissions, lack of recycling, use of non-recyclable plastics, and unnecessary travel for patients. The NHS net zero ambitions are world-leading, and the BSG and its members have an opportunity to contribute to these aims. We also have an opportunity to collaborate with other national and international partners. The issues around sustainability are complex, and research opportunities exist.
The BSG Executive is committed to developing a strategy on climate change and sustainability, and has commissioned this working group.
Andy Veitch, BSG President Elect, on behalf of the BSG working group on climate change and sustainability
The BSG recognises that there is a global climate emergency, and that this has adverse effects on health.
The BSG is committed to supporting and promoting environmental sustainability across all aspects of its practice nationally and internationally, and to supporting the NHS in its aims to achieve a net zero service.
The BSG will promote sustainability through its charitable objectives of research, training, and education, and will provide leadership through example in its business and membership activities.
The BSG will promote awareness and share knowledge regarding climate change and sustainability with regard to gastrointestinal and liver health, and delivery of services. We will not be advising members on how to conduct their personal lives with regard to sustainability.
The BSG will share knowledge on relevant issues, and advise on how sustainability can be practiced and promoted within our professional services. This will align with the NHS net zero strategy, and innovative practices will be encouraged and developed. Within BSG professional practice, higher committees and sections will consider how sustainability affects their field of practice.
The BSG will aim to achieve, where practicable, sustainable practice across all aspects and activities of the organisation.
The BSG will consider direct or collaborative options to highlight the gastroenterology and hepatology issues with regard to sustainability at a governmental level, with an aim to improve practice where evidence for this exists.
The BSG will collaborate with other professional organisations internationally to achieve the aims of our climate change and sustainability strategy. This will be in coordination with the BSG International Committee.
The BSG will encourage, promote, and support research into opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint arising from gastrointestinal, hepatology, and endoscopy services. This has been incorporated into the BSG Research Strategy.
BSG Strategy on Climate Change & Sustainability 2021
- Survey of BSG members + non-member trainees and nurses on knowledge and attitudes to sustainability in endoscopy. The aim is to canvass a mandate for the BSG sustainability strategy.
- Sustainability webinar prior to BSG 2022 Annual Meeting in July 2021.
- Present draft strategy to BSG Executive and Council in September 2021.
- Discuss Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy at BSG strategy meeting in October 2021.
- Launch BSG Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy at the BSG Annual Meeting Online in November 2021 at the symposium on day 1 of the meeting.
- Collaborate with other stakeholders nationally: RCP, Green Endoscopy, UK Health Alliance on Climate Change (multi-stakeholder alliance with potential political impact at government level), 4-Nation engagement with NHS organisations. International collaboration: World Gastroenterology Organisation (currently has a very active globally represented climate change committee including Andy Veitch), forge links with other international professional societies.
- Raise awareness: social media, newsletter, publications, press.
- Develop research strategy on sustainability: BSG Research Committee chair and deputy chair.
- Request the development of a sustainability strategy from all sections and higher committees.
- The BSG to commission analysis of the carbon footprint of the organisation. Determine objective measures to monitor improvements, and determine an achievable timeline to make events and meetings run by the BSG carbon neutral.
- This working group will continue to lead and implement the climate change and sustainability strategy in year 1, reporting to Executive, Council, and Trustees. Ultimately consider new section/committee or subgroup of CSSC to coordinate and monitor sustainability activity.
Spotlight Webinar: Sustainability in Gastroenterology
This webinar, recorded on the 14th July 2021, featured talks on sustainability in gastroenterology and was chaired by Dr Andy Veitch, BSG President-Elect. An overview of the programme is outlined below:
Making our NHS Greener
Nicky Philpott, Deputy Director for the Greener NHS Programme
Dr Bu Hayee, Consultant Gastroenterologist at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sustainability Clinical Lead for NHS London
Climate Change & Sustainability Webinars
This webinar, recorded on the 14th July 2021, featured talks on sustainability in gastroenterology and was chaired by Dr Andy Veitch, BSG President-Elect.