Welcome to Green Impact for Health

We developed this toolkit to help every general practice improve their sustainability and environmental impact; reduce their harmful impact on planetary health, the risks of climate change and reduce their practice expenses. It answers the question – What can we do in our practice?

The key message of the Lancet Countdown report in 2019 summarises why this is important:
‘The life of every child born today will be profoundly affected by climate change, with populations around the world increasingly facing extremes of weather, food and water insecurity, changing patterns of infectious disease, and a less certain future. Without accelerated intervention, this new era will come to define the health of people at every stage of their lives.
A second path – which limits the global average temperature rise to “well below 2ºC” – is possible, and would transform the health of a child born today for the better, throughout their lives. Placing health at the centre of the coming transition will yield enormous dividends for the public and the economy, with cleaner air, safer cities, and healthier diets’.

You can watch this 4 minute video which explains what the toolkit can do for your practice and why you should get involved.



You should also look at the Greener Practice website. It is the one-stop hub for UK general practices that want to become greener, with links to more information, including webinars, resources and practical tools. Twitter: @greenerpractice

To support this work of this toolkit please donate to SOS-UK via our charity PayPal account.

The toolkit is kept up to date by general practice volunteers led by Terry Kemple (Past President RCGP, and the current RCGP representative for Sustainability, Climate Change and Green issues).

This toolkit and award started in 2014 as a collaboration between the RCGP, Health Education England, the University of Bristol, and the National Union of Students (NUS). The RCGP continues to support and promote the toolkit. The RCGP is also a founder member of the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change which works to influence the policymakers.

The Green Impact programme is now delivered by Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK). Currently over 500 different organisations take part in the Green Impact, through which 158,000 people worldwide are taking action on sustainability. Green Impact for Health is our toolkit designed for General Practices. In 2019-20, we had 754 general practices sign up to take part and 69 achieved an award.

SOS-UK is an educational charity created by students and staff at NUS in 2019 in response to the climate emergency and ecological crisis. We support people to learn, act and lead for sustainability. We have a wide range of programmes and campaigns which drive people, students, organisations and sectors towards a just and sustainable future. Our highlight campaigns include Invest for Change which achieved 50% of UK universities divesting their investments away from fossil fuels and more recently, Teach The Future, a youth led campaign to reform our education system to include sustainability throughout the curriculum.

SOS-UK is a small not-for-profit and we charge all participants of Green Impact in order to cover our costs and to support our other campaign work. RCGP supplied the start-up funding for the programme to allow any General Practice from across the country free access to the Green Impact for Health programme.

This year the funding has changed. A private donation from a member of the RCGP has provided the funding for 2020/21 but we need to plan ahead and assure that the funding can continue beyond 2021. We are asking all participating General Practices, to donate a minimum of £25 to allow the GIFH programme to continue and support SOS-UKs wider sustainability work. Donating is also a way to offset some of your past and current greenhouse gas emissions by supporting good work across the world.

To donate, please do so via our charity PayPal account. You will not need to create a PayPal account; you can donate either through a PayPal account or just use a credit or debit card. If you have any questions, please send these to giforhealth@sos-uk.org.

For general help using the toolkit, please look at the user guide. More specific help with FAQs, links to other organisations, publications and resources are in the HELP section at the top-right corner.

If you don’t want to register then you can view all the current criteria and the changes from the last version of the toolkit (but not any extra information) on a downloadable spreadsheet HERE.

We don’t want a few people doing every impossible thing, we need most of us doing every possible thing we can.

If you register as a user - you can use the toolkit in two ways. It is...
1. A list of actions to do in general practice, with the reason why you should do them and advice on how to do them.
2. A continuing improvement process for your practice team where you collect points and awards each year that recognise your practice’s achievements.

To get started, please use the links in the top right to register yourself and your practice's team, or log in. You will need to apply to us at giforhealth@sos-uk.org for a registration code. This is a simple security check to stop inappropriate registrations. We had over 750 participating practices in 2019/20 so we may be able to match you with someone in a local practice that is experienced with Green Impact. Please ask us if you want us to make a match.

If you are an existing user - Thank you for your efforts so far!

What’s different in this seventh 2020/21 cycle starting in September 2020?

All the criteria have been checked and updated where necessary. Many of the old 2019/20 criteria have been amended, some have been moved or deleted. There are some new criteria. All the current criteria and the changes from the last version of the toolkit on the downloadable spreadsheet mentioned above.
The points system has changed and this year you can also gain awards by accumulating sufficient points in any category. The awards are Pioneer (previously called ‘Working towards’), Bronze, Silver, Gold and Carbon (previous called Bonus). There have been some minor changes in the point allocations.
All the criteria are mapped to the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

All your data from the 2019/20 toolkit should have been transferred to the new 2020/21 toolkit. If there has been a glitch in the transfer of data and you did not keep a copy of your data all of your previous entries for each year should also be in the archive on the ‘log in’ page (in the top R hand corner). If you have any problems with your migrated data then please email giforhealth@sos-uk.org

Don’t forget to support this work please donate to SOS-UK via our charity PayPal account.

If you want to provide any feedback about the scheme please email giforhealth@sos-uk.org.