Nuala Hampson, senior pharmacist Primary care pharmacy education pathway, and the CPPE Greener Team have achieved a highly commended award for Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability at the University of Manchester’s Making a Difference Awards. The Greener Team have accomplished a great deal over the past year as CPPE strives to become a greener, more sustainable organisation.
Timeline of the Greener Team’s creation and achievements
- July 2021 – Nuala talked about climate change at the Pathways education supervisor’s meeting, in a session called Five minutes in the spotlight.
- July 2021 – Greener Team WhatsApp group created, open to all colleagues (current membership: 105).
- September 2021 – Survey sent out to understand how staff felt about the climate crisis, what action they were taking to minimize their environmental impact in relation to their CPPE role, what they thought was the biggest environmental impact of their CPPE role, and what suggestions they had for the organisation to reduce its environmental impact. Survey received 166 responses.
- October 2021 – Presentation given at CPPE National meeting: Team CPPE and the climate crisis: what can we do?
- November 2021 – Sustainability proposals paper presented at the CPPE Leadership meeting. The paper was compiled using ideas generated from the pre-national meeting survey and from the discussion/chat box at the National meeting. (See below for a list of organisational and policy changes which have resulted from this work.) All Staff Teams channel created for the Greener Team to provide access for non-members of the WhatsApp group and serve as a repository for resources.
- December 2021 – Reverse advent calendar shared with the entire team on WhatsApp and All Staff Teams channel – one personal action every weekday during the month of December. A member of CPPE staff created the reverse advent calendar for his church community. He kindly shared it for adaption and use by the CPPE Greener Team.
- January 2022 – Greener Team created a monthly theme plan for #Greener Team actions – posted in the WhatsApp group and All Staff Teams channel.
- February 2022 – Shortlisted for the Making a Difference Award by the Social Responsibility team at the University of Manchester. CPPE website environmental statement updated.
- February/March 2022 – Mid-year meetings presentation: sustainability update/education on how food impacts on climate and the health impacts of climate change in the UK. Pre-meeting survey received 138 responses:
- 83 percent had taken personal actions to reduce their impact on the planet
- 74 percent had shared ideas or actions related to reducing their impact on the planet with someone else
- 88 percent had taken work-related action to reduce their impact on the planet.
- April 2022 – CPPE staff volunteered their time to pick litter around the University of Manchester and their local area in the spirit of The Great British Spring Clean 2022. Our staff found that the campaign connected them with other colleagues, highlighted the issue of litter in the environment and inspired them to continue litter picking and making a difference to the environment.
- May 2022 – Greener Team encouraged all staff to get involved in two campaigns: No Mow May and the Big Plastic Count 2022. Pharmaceutical Journal article published: https://pharmaceutical-journal.com/article/opinion/creating-momentum-for-climate-action-start-with-a-story
Organisational and policy changes
- Sustainability lead link-person identified in the leadership team to take forward ideas and suggestions from the Greener Team and wider organisation.
- Regional sustainability link-staff identified in each region to be the point of communication for sustainability to gather messages, focus areas and actions for the regional teams, and to stimulate proactive discussions.
- Environmental sustainability included as a standing item on the agenda to ensure momentum is maintained and staff are aware of progress at key CPPE meetings and events – Leadership meeting, Learning and programme development, Assurance unit, and National and Mid-year meetings. Aim to embed sustainability into all policies and procedures and to incorporate it in our learning materials.
- Presentations by Nuala Hampson at the October 2021 National meeting, February 2022 Learning and programme development group and February/March 2022 Mid-year meetings to educate and engage the organisation on climate and ecological breakdown and the impact on public health.
- Organisational switch to Fairphone, an ethically sourced and more sustainable phone with removable and repairable parts.
- Organisational switch to vegetarian-only food at education events where food is provided. The University of Manchester encourages this approach as part of their 50,000 actions initiative.
- A regular ‘Organisation sustainability’ update (focusing on policy) and Greener CPPE update (focusing on individual actions and resources) included in the CPPE staff monthly newsletter.
- At least one e-challenge question per month linked to sustainability and the climate crisis since November 2021.
Going forward, the Greener Team continues to engage with the wider organisation on personal actions at home and at work, focusing on a range of themes including diet, biodiversity in the garden and energy conservation. We have plans to develop a programme of sustainable-crafting evening online events run by and for staff. Ideas suggested so far include beeswax wrapping, quilt making and vegan baking.
Other university departments (School of Pharmacy) have expressed an interest in hearing more about how CPPE has achieved staff engagement and action. There are plans to write an article for the School of Health Sciences sustainability newsletter and to present at the School of Pharmacy Drug Usage and Pharmacy Practice Groups to share what we have learnt and actions we have taken.
CPPE continues to extend its networking with groups focusing on the health impacts of climate change, including Greener NHS and Pharmacy Declares. Nuala Hampson will be chairing the Sustainability in Education Conference, hosted by Pharmacy Declares in October 2022: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sustainability-in-education-conference-registration-292003830317