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The healthcare sector consists of organisations that provide products and services to maintain and improve health, both physical and mental.   

Hospital workers in the foyer

Introducing the healthcare sector

The UK is famous for its healthcare system, which is predominantly made up of publicly funded hospitals, but also includes private non-profit and for-profit hospitals.

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is a national institution and the largest employer in the UK healthcare sector. It employs more than 1.5 million people, placing it in the world’s top five largest workforces.    

The importance of going green in healthcare

Climate change and health are intrinsically linked. The effects of climate change impact the food, air, water and shelter that society depends on. These effects act to exacerbate existing inequities, with vulnerable people affected more frequently and with a more lasting impact.    

For example, worsening air pollution and extreme heat increase the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. This puts more pressure on our health systems. Paradoxically, the healthcare systems treating us for those diseases are strong contributors togreenhouse gases, which worsen climate change.   

Contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions:
Almost 5%
The NHS is the first health service to commit to
Carbon net zero
The average operation generates an estimated
Information kindly supplied by:
ABHI logo

ABHI is the UK’s leading industry association for health technology (HealthTech).

Created by

IEMA is the membership body for environment and sustainability professionals