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Environmentally sustainable emergency medicine
  1. Timothy Spruell1,
  2. Hannah Webb2,3,
  3. Zoe Steley3,4,
  4. James Chan3,5,
  5. Alexander Robertson6,7
  1. 1 Anaesthetics Department, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Emergency Department, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, East Sussex, UK
  3. 3 Environmental Special Interest Group, The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, London, UK
  4. 4 Emergency Department, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  5. 5 Emergency Department, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  6. 6 Emergency Department, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
  7. 7 The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Timothy Spruell, Emergency Department, Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London SW19 3BL, UK; timothy.spruell{at}


Emergency clinicians worldwide are demonstrating increasing concern about the effect of climate change on the health of the populations they serve. The movement for sustainable healthcare is being driven by the need to address the climate emergency. Globally, healthcare contributes significantly to carbon emissions, and the healthcare sector has an important role to play in contributing to decarbonisation of the global economy. In this article, we consider the implications for emergency medicine of climate change, and suggest ways to improve environmental sustainability within emergency departments. We identify examples of sustainable clinical practice, as well as outlining research proposals to address the knowledge gap that currently exists in the area of provision of environmentally sustainable emergency care.

  • environmental medicine
  • emergency care systems
  • emergency care systems
  • efficiency
  • global health

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  • Handling editor Richard Body

  • Contributors All authours have contributed substantially to the content and ideas contained within the article, and meet the International Comittee of Medical Journal Editors criteria for authourship. TTS, HW and ZS were responsible for initial authourship of the manuscript. JC and AR were responsible for research of ED specific sustainability initiatives, suggesting future research ideas as well as formatting and critical appraisal of the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests All authors are members of the Environmental Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.