14 Nov 2023

Green Surgery report launched

A new landmark report that sets the groundwork for reducing the carbon footprint of surgical care was launched at the Future of Surgery conference on 14th November. The Green Surgery report has involved significant input and collaboration with individuals and organisations working across the surgical care pathway. 

Reducing the emissions produced during surgery would be a significant step towards the NHS achieving its aim to be net zero by 2045. The report shows that solutions are available and in many cases could result in better options for patients while at the same time costing the NHS less.

The report is believed to be the world’s first detailed account of how to reduce the environmental impact of surgical care while maintaining high quality patient care and potentially saving the NHS money.

Reducing and reusing products used in surgery, shutdown checklists for operating rooms to save energy when they are not in use, switching to less harmful anaesthetics, and surgeons and patients working together to optimise their treatment are all highlighted as ways in which carbon emissions could be reduced.

The report includes a clear set of recommendations for everyone involved in surgical care, including colleges, associations and societies, NHS, policy makers, clinicians and patients. It was produced by the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. It was funded by the Health Foundation. 

A dedicated website with a link to download the full report and key recommendations can be viewed here and a short overview video can be watched here.

Check out the BOA's Sustainability in Orthopaedics resources here and read sustainability themed articles on Orthopaedics Online.