Welcome to Green Impact for Health

Welcome to RCGP’s Green Impact for Health Toolkit and Awards

Climate Change is already happening, but how bad will we let it get?

The UK’s Climate Change Committee’s 2021 sixth carbon budget covers the years 2033-2037. Living within this carbon budget will mean that “almost all new purchases and investments are zero-carbon by around 2030”. This needs widespread behaviour changes and rapid deployment of emissions removal technologies.

The NHS is responsible for 5% of the UK’s carbon footprint. We need to change how we work to avoid the unmanageable and to manage the avoidable. What can we do?

This toolkit can help any general practice improve their sustainability and environmental impact; reduce their harmful impact on planetary health, the risks of climate change and reduce their practice expenses. It answers the question – ‘What can we do in our practice?’

If you are a new user then contact giforhealth@sos-uk.org to get the code you will need when you register. This is a simple security check to stop inappropriate registrations.

If you want to know more then visit the Greener Practice website. It is the one-stop hub for UK general practices that want to become greener, with links to more information, including webinars, resources and practical tools.

You can watch this 5 minute video that explains what the toolkit can do for your practice and why you should be doing it.



To support this work of this toolkit please donate to SOS-UK via our charity Paypal account and choose the Green Impact option.

The toolkit is kept up to date by general practice volunteers led by Terry Kemple (Past President RCGP, and the current RCGP representative for Sustainability, Climate Change and Green issues).

This toolkit and award started in 2014 as a collaboration between the RCGP, Health Education England, the University of Bristol, and the National Union of Students (NUS). The RCGP continues to support and promote the toolkit. The RCGP is also a founder member of UK Health Alliance on Climate Change that works to influence the policymakers.

Green Impact is now one of the Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK) programmes that includes over 500 different organisations and over 158,000 people worldwide who are taking action on sustainability. Green Impact for Health is our toolkit designed for General Practices. By September 2021 we had >1000 general practices sign up to take part and >100 practices submitting for an achievement award.

SOS-UK is an educational charity created by students and staff at NUS in 2019 in response to the climate emergency and ecological crisis. It supports people to learn, act and lead for sustainability; has a wide range of programmes and campaigns which drive people, students, organisations and sectors towards a just and sustainable future. The highlight campaigns include Invest for Change which achieved 50% of UK universities divesting their investments away from fossil fuels and more recently, Teach The Future, a youth-led campaign to reform the education system to include sustainability throughout the curriculum.

SOS-UK is a small not-for-profit and charges all participants of Green Impact in order to cover costs and to support other campaign work. RCGP supplied the start-up funding for the programme to allow any General Practice from across the country free access to the Green Impact for Health programme.

The funding changed in 2020. Donations have provided the funding for 2021/22 but we need to plan ahead and assure that the funding can continue beyond 2022. We are asking all participating General Practices, to donate a minimum of £10 each year to allow the GIFH programme to continue and support SOS-UK’s wider sustainability work. Donating is also a way to offset some of your past and current greenhouse gas emissions by supporting good work across the world.

To donate, please do so via our charity PayPal account and choose the Green Impact option. You will not need to create a PayPal account and but can donate either through a PayPal account or just use a credit or debit card. If you have any questions, please send these to giforhealth@sos-uk.org.

For general help using the toolkit, please look at https://greenimpact.nus.org.uk/how-it-works/. More specific help with FAQs, links to other organisations, publications and resources are in the HELP section at the top-right corner.

If you don’t want to register then you can view all the current criteria and the changes from the last version of the toolkit (but not any extra information) on a downloadable spreadsheet.

If you register as a user - you can use the toolkit in two ways. It is
1. A list of actions to do in general practice, with the reason why you should do them and advice on how to do them.

2. A continuing improvement process for your practice team where you collect points and awards each year that recognise your practice’s achievements.

To get started, please use the links on the right to register yourself and your practice's team, or log in. You will need to apply to us at giforhealth@sos-uk.org for a registration code. This is a simple security check to stop inappropriate registrations. We had over 1000 participating practices in 2020/21 so we may be able to match you with someone in a local practice that is experienced with Green Impact. Please ask us if you want us to make a match.

If you are an existing user - Thank you for your efforts so far!

What’s different in this 2021/22 cycle starting in September 2021

Instead of major changes in the toolkit every year, we are trying to keep it simple and easy for you to use so you can just keep adding to it each year. All the information you have added will be untouched. All the criteria and other information have been checked and updated where necessary. Most of the old 2020/21 criteria are unchanged. Some may have had a few word changes. Some of the further information and audit information may have had minor changes. There are some new criteria in the ‘Extra’ tab on the left. All the current criteria and the changes from the last versions of the toolkit are on the downloadable spreadsheet mentioned above.
The points system is the same. You can gain awards by accumulating sufficient points in any category. The awards are Pioneer, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Carbon.
All the criteria are mapped to the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

All your data from the 2020/21 toolkit should have been transferred to the new 2021/22 toolkit. If there has been a glitch in the transfer of data and you did not keep a copy of your data all of your previous entries for each year should also be in the archive on the ‘log in’ page (in the top R hand corner). If you have any problems with your migrated data then please email giforhealth@sos-uk.org.


Don’t forget to support this work please donate to SOS-UK via our charity PayPal account.

If you want to provide any feedback about the scheme please email giforhealth@sos-uk.org.