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Environmental sustainability projects in radiotherapy across the UK

It is recognised globally that there is an urgent need for action to reduce carbon emissions and find more sustainable ways of working and living in order to limit global warming and climate change. Action is needed as much in healthcare as it is in all other sectors of our economy and society. 

The NHS is a significant contributor to carbon emissions and it is healthcare that will bear the brunt of all the health issues posed by climate change. The need for action is being addressed in a number of ways, including through the Greener NHS initiative, which has set a target to reach a net zero NHS carbon footprint by 2040, with an ambition to reach an 80 per cent reduction by 2028 to 2032.

The Radiotherapy Board recognises the environmental impact of radiotherapy treatment pathways. It believes that radiotherapy services have a role in addressing the challenges of climate change by finding innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint and in considering other environmental issues such as waste minimisation and adopting best environmental practice during procurement. It commends and supports the work undertaken to date by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine’s Environmental Sustainability Committee and encourages further such investigations in radiotherapy.

The Radiotherapy Board’s environmental sustainability working group is working to raise the profile of environmental sustainability in radiotherapy, and support and encourage radiotherapy teams to adopt more environmentally-friendly ways of working. 

One of its initial aims was to pull together as many sustainability projects within radiotherapy as possible which are show below.

If you have a project that you would like added, have an update on your project or would like to be put in contact with one of the submitting centres please contact [email protected].