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King’s Green Plan

We’re committed to delivering sustainable healthcare, not just for today’s patients but tomorrow’s too, by actively protecting the environment we all depend on and our planet.

Our five-year sustainability strategy Sustainable Healthcare for All – A Green Plan for King’s defines how we will manage and reduce our environmental impact and deliver continuous sustainability improvement to our staff, patients and wider community. And that journey has begun.

Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2023 to 2026

The Trust’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan outlines how we will adapt our estates to weather climate change. From the possibility of flooding, extreme heat and cold to installing green roofs, planting trees and more.

The actions set out in the plan are based around four themes – Built Infrastructure, Clinical Services, Operational Services, Workforce and Community – and will ensure the Trust is prepared for the risks and challenges that come with climate change. It will also bring benefits to patients, such as new green areas on our hospital sites.

Read our Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

Travel Plan

The Trust’s travel plan sets out how we will encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel to our sites, for both staff and patients.

Sustainable travel will aid us in efforts to reduce carbon emissions and make a positive contribution to our community and environment. The key aims of our travel plan are to:

  • improve the infrastructure, facilities and initiatives to reduce unnecessary journeys and enable shifts towards healthier, active forms of travel such as cycling and walking as well as public transport; and
  • shift away from cars and towards walking, cycling and public transport to decrease carbon emissions and air pollution, improve physical activity and wellbeing, and increase access to care for patients.

Read our travel plan.

Clean Air Plan

In June 2023, King’s College Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trusts jointly published our first ever Clean Air Plan. Our plan spans 2 trusts, 5 London boroughs, 37,000 staff and 4 million annual patient contacts. It defines the ways in which we will address air pollution, raise awareness of the issue and ultimately improve the health of our patients, staff and local communities.

We have identified 5 focus areas and 27 priority actions for 2023/24 including a 10% reduction in low mileage fleet vehicles (average of less than 15 miles per day) compared to 2022/23, and air quality criteria in tenders and integrated in contract performance management as part of our procurement process. This will help us reduce our own contribution to air pollution, and raise awareness of the issue amongst our staff, patients and local communities.

Read our Clean Air Plan.


Sustainability is a golden thread within our Strong Roots, Global Reach strategy, and is a key part of the way we work.

Our Green Plan is designed to enable us:

  • reduce our total carbon emissions (through consumption of fuels, energy and materials consumption)
  • improve local air quality
  • minimise single-use plastics and improve the reuse, repair and recycling of waste

Our summary report provides an overview of our commitments throughout 2021/22 to kick-start our programme; accelerating carbon reduction and sustainability awareness across the Trust. The Sustainability Steering Group will monitor, implement and manage the delivery of this action plan, working with colleagues across the Trust to implement the actions contained within the plan.

In order to meet our sustainability ambitions, including net zero carbon by 2040, we have developed a green action plan which sets out our commitments and initiatives:

  • Corporate approach – embed the sustainability and net zero carbon agenda within everything we do.
  • Asset management and utilities – continue to improve the efficiency of our practices and utilities by adopting green technologies and improving staff awareness.
  • Travel and logistics – encourage low-carbon, active travel and virtual alternatives to reduce our carbon and air quality impact.
  • Adaptation – embed climate change awareness across the Trust and prepare for extreme weather events and climate change threats.
  • Capital projects – facilitate net zero carbon progress through new builds and refurbishments.
  • Green space and biodiversity – protect and improve green space across our sites.
  • Sustainable care models – implement green care pathways to reduce the environmental impact of the care we provide to our community.
  • Our people – embed climate awareness and enable our staff, patients and community to live more sustainable lifestyles.
  • Sustainable use of resources – adopt innovative solutions to reduce waste and move towards a circular economy approach to the goods we purchase.
  • Carbon emissions and greenhouse gases – identify and target our carbon hotspots to reduce our carbon footprint and achieve our carbon reduction targets.

Roadmap to a greener future

Our new Green Plan sets out our roadmap to a greener future. The Trust has already made strides into moving into a more sustainable world. Our achievements include:

  • Energy and water saving measures, including investing in LED lighting.
  • Recycling, re-use and plastic-free initiatives to minimise our environmental impact and reduce unnecessary, costly waste.
  • Staff and community programmes to support health, wellbeing and inclusion.
  • Lambeth GP Food Co-op – a patient-led gardening project encouraging both healthy eating and the physical exercise gained from gardening.
  • Free Dr Bike Cycle Mechanic Sessions and establishing an Active Travel Group.
  • Partnering with Cross River Partnership (CRP) on their Clean Air Villages project which is running for its third year.
  • Purchasing 100% renewable electricity tariff from April 2021.
  • Switching to electronic prescribing and purchase-to-pay IT equipment.
  • Maximising and improving green spaces in partnership with King’s College Hospital Charity.
  • SusQI programme to bring together Quality Improvement using methods to move to more sustainable healthcare, and use tools developed by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.
  • ‘No Meat May’ campaign and an increase in vegetarian and vegan options within our catering menu.
  • Switching to low carbon inhalers (DPIs), which have a carbon footprint 18 times lower than metered dose inhalers (MDIs).