Environmentally sustainable orthopaedics and trauma: systems and behaviour change

Heather Baid, Joanna Holland, Federica Pirro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Healthcare creates a significantly sizeable environmental footprint, worsening the climate crisis, polluting air, soil and water, damaging biodiversity and causing ecological damage. Planetary health and public health are interlinked and healthcare professionals in all roles, including orthopaedics and trauma, have a role to play in improving the environmental sustainability of their healthcare practice. The principles of sustainable clinical practice emphasize prevention and patient self-care as vital for addressing environmental issues in healthcare in order to reduce waste and avoid using resources unnecessarily. Lowering the ecological footprint can also be achieved through more efficient, lean working practices and low-carbon alternatives where they are available. This article explores these sustainability principles in healthcare, along with the role of systems thinking, behaviour change and quality improvement as central concepts for improving environmental sustainability, while also seeking financial, social and clinical co-benefits within orthopaedics and trauma services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalOrthopaedics and Trauma
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2022


  • behaviour change
  • environmental footprint
  • quality improvement
  • sustainability
  • systems


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