To consider the report of the Leeds Anchors for Sustainability Taskforce (LAST)
The report of the Leeds Anchors for Sustainability Taskforce (LAST) provided members of the board with information related to the Leeds Health and Care Climate Commitment.
The Environmental and Sustainability Manager for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Chief Officer for Health Partnerships introduced the report which outlined the roadmap for delivering a net zero NHS and how this ties in with the Leeds Best City Ambition to be a net zero carbon city by 2030. It was noted that although there is substantial work to be done, the changes happening in Leeds were positive through the City centre park, the biggest urban park in Europe since 1985, green jobs growth, the Council electric vehicle fleet being the largest for a local authority and an extension to the Leeds PIPES network. The ambitions will be achievable if well planned actions are co-ordinated across the health and care system. Understanding climate change through the lens of health and wellbeing and associated services will be integral to protecting those most vulnerable to its effects.
Delivering a net zero NHS is being embedded within the organisations, with reference to it in all standard NHS contracts, obligated through the Government Procurement Policy Note 06/21; taking account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts for social value and net zero in procurement. Immediate action is essential as the NHS will bear the brunt of health issues related to the changing climate. It was noted there is social value for net zero in all possible avenues of health and wellbeing which will assist with minimising pressure on the health service in light of the repercussion’s climate change will have on population health.
The Greener NHS have set two targets i.e. for emissions controlled directly to reach a target of net zero by 2040 and for emissions that can be influenced to reach net zero by 2045. Leeds will try to achieve net zero standards faster than proposed under national legislation. This is based on the progress Leeds has made to date, the plans in place and strong joined up system working to deliver against this shared ambition enables Leeds to be a in strong position to be able to deliver.
The Board discussed the following matters:
· Although climate change is a global issue, local actions can make a big impact. Aiming to have the ‘twenty minute neighbourhood’ idea and good provision of local services will help to impact climate change from a transport and energy perspective, as well as improving the situation for people and workers.
· The intention should be to ‘change the game’, there is a need to change the way of life to combat climate change. The balance with international co-operation, and Leeds needs to do all it can to protects itself from arising dangers, such as hotter summers. The time for action is immediate and although there will be high costs incurred by adapting infrastructure it is the best hope for protecting people.
· Interest was shown in the developing food strategy plans with ideas noted to include, support of the rural economy and activities that target climate change and also have the potential to improve public health. It was noted that the Public Health team were developing the Leeds Food Strategy which will be brought to the Board in the future. The aim of the national NHS Food Strategy for staff catering and patient provision was outlined as to provide sustainable meals and minimise waste with surveys to measure success.
· Affordability and feasibility were noted as barriers to achieving net zero due to the high cost of changing to sustainable technology, there is a huge range of services of different sizes with different needs
· The hot weather experienced this year has highlighted that buildings in the UK are not necessarily designed to cope with extreme heat. Therefore work needs to be considered to ensure greater resilience of infrastructure across the city.
· Inequalities and the cost of living crisis was discussed as there is disparity in choices available to people which links to the refreshed strategy in order to help those who need it most. A review of the policies and proposals to be net zero should be conducted annually to analyse areas of success and also where more focus or funding is needed.
a) To acknowledge the legal requirement to deliver net zero within the local health and care sector as set out within the Climate Change Act (2008) and clarified within the Health and Care Act (2022) be noted.
b) To recognise the role of local health and care sector organisations to support national and local climate policy including, but not limited to, the Net Zero Strategy, Greener NHS vision, National Adaptation Programme, and Leeds’ local climate emergency declaration.
c) To commit to reviewing the progress of the local health and care sector towards the delivery of its stated net zero and climate adaptation ambitions on an annual basis and to create further opportunities at HWB level to further engage on this work.
d) To identify areas for cross-sector collaboration to accelerate the delivery of climate mitigation (achieving net zero) and adaptation (mitigating impacts of future climate hazards).
Additionally Board Members will seek to action the following within their own organisations:
a) To reflect the risks of failing to mitigate and failing to adapt to climate change, as identified by the national Committee on Climate Change and regional Climate Team Leeds Commissions, as part of organisational corporate risk registers and business continuity planning.
b) To commit to developing, delivering, and regularly reviewing at board level costed organisational action plans for climate mitigation (achieving net zero) and climate adaptation (mitigating impacts of future climate hazards) if not already doing so.
c) To commit to incorporate a requirement to consider the impact of all major decisions on organisational environmental/climate targets as part of the formal decision making/business case process.
To commit to providing Carbon Literacy training (or equivalent) for all organisational Board members/non-executive directors and to undertake engagement with every healthcare team to ensure understanding of organisational climate plans.