Our environmental work | Association of Anaesthetists

Our environmental work

Our environmental work

Here at the Association we recognise that our actions have an impact in the environment and we see sustainability and climate change as key strategic issues.  

In 2016 we conducted a membership environment strategy survey.  The results from this were used to identify priority areas for action in our joint environmental policy statement and long-term strategy (pp. 21-22).

Find your nearest environmental champion

The environmental champions network is a vital link in the sustainability chain for the Association of Anaesthetists. This network provides communication between the Association and its members on sustainability matters. The creation of this map is the next tool in networking, to allow individuals to find other sustainability champions in local trusts.

Networking is an important tool in the sustainability challenge facing us and healthcare. Irrespective of your grade and where you are around the world, join the network and become a point of contact to share ideas and collaborate on sustainable projects in your hospital.

Association support for the Greener NHS/ Medicines Sustainability Board progress towards reducing the use of desflurane

For many years anaesthetists have been at the forefront of efforts to reduce the detrimental effect of healthcare provision on our planetary climate. Desflurane and nitrous oxide use has decreased dramatically, and Net Zero/Climate Emergency Strategies from NHS England and Scotland have identified desflurane elimination as a key aspiration. To that end Greener NHS wrote to the Association asking for support in further decreasing desflurane targets in NHS England and eventual elimination by 2025. The Association are supportive of this aim, but aware that it is an unusual position to effectively ‘lose’ a good drug on the basis of environmental considerations. Since the arguments for cessation of desflurane are so compelling, the question “Can safe and effective anaesthesia be provided without desflurane?” was considered with particular account of specialist centres. It was noted that many hospitals across the UK have completely abandoned desflurane use, including in subspecialty areas, with no evidence of detriment to their standard of care. Therefore this statement issued September 2022 represents the Association view and is supportive of cessation of its use.