Environmental Sustainability

Anaesthetic services account for 2% of the NHS carbon footprint in England. The NHS Long Term plan pledged to reduce emissions from anaesthetic gases by 40% by “transforming anaesthetic services”. A survey by the Sustainable Development Unit in 2017 found that 30% of emissions from anaesthetics arose from the use of nitrous oxide & oxygen in maternity services. Climate change is a global health emergency. We all have a role to play in reducing the carbon footprint of our practice. Below are resources covering potential methods to decrease the environmental impact of obstetric anaesthesia.

NHS Net Zero Plan

Report of planned interventions to meet National Health Service net zero emissions target

Environmentally Sustainable Healthcare e-Learning

Health Education England E-learning for healthcare

Piped Nitrous Oxide Waste Reduction Strategy

How to audit nitrous oxide & Entonox waste in your hospital

Nitrous Oxide Destruction Report

How catalytic destruction of nitrous oxide has reduced emissions in Sweden

Ethyl Chloride Case Study

Case study substituting ethyl chloride spray for testing sensory block

Anaesthetic Waste Segregation

Association of Anaesthetists waste segregation flow chart

Reusable theatre hats

How to make your own reusable cloth theatre hat.

Organisations working towards sustainable healthcare

Centre for Sustainable Healthcare

Greener NHS

NHS Ocean

RCoA Sustainability Strategy

Association of Anaesthetists environmental work


Information for expectant
parents and midwives’

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Sustainability Resources