Intercollegiate climate emergency declaration
15 Nov 2022
The UK Surgical Royal Colleges acknowledge that climate change and anthropogenic environmental degradation pose a major threat to both human health and planetary health. We have reached and overstepped several planetary boundaries within which humanity can survive and thrive, and this calls for decisive, collaborative, and urgent action.
Our colleges strive to promote patient health and wellbeing, and climate change poses a direct and indirect threat to this. As such, it is within our charge to protect patients’ health by urgently minimising the environmental impact of everything we do, within our institutions and among our membership activities.
With this declaration, the colleges accept their duty to provide leadership and guidance among the surgical community in tackling the environmental impact of surgical care and commit to do so urgently at local, regional, and national levels.
We have produced a compendium of peer-reviewed evidence, guidelines and policies that inform the interventions included in the Intercollegiate Green Theatre Checklist. This compendium will support members of the surgical team to introduce changes in their own operating departments. Our recommendations apply the principles of sustainable quality improvement in healthcare, which aim to achieve the 'triple bottom line' of environmental, social and economic impacts.