A vision and roadmap to a safe and sustainable future in healthcare!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Glasgow United Kingdom – 2 June 2023
Climate change is a defining issue for our generation. It is now an ethical and practical imperative that we take action to prevent disaster. As clinicians and physicians, we have always practised the principle of “first do no harm!” yet we have limited this to the person in front of us. As healthcare providers, we now understand the importance of preserving the environment and reducing our carbon footprint. By implementing sustainable practices, we can minimise waste and decrease our environmental impact. We can help and heal our patients while preserving and protecting our planet.
During Euroanaesthesia 2023, recognised worldwide as one of the most important and inﬂuential annual congresses in anaesthesiology and intensive care this year held in Glasgow, Scotland from 2 to 5 June, the European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) will announce the official launch of The Glasgow Declaration on Sustainability in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care – a call for pledges on all stakeholders – governments and policymakers, healthcare professionals, patients and professional societies, along with national and international societies – to become ‘environmental sustainability ambassadors’ to help raise awareness of achieving environmental sustainability in healthcare, addressing the urgent need to reduce the healthcare sector’s contribution to global pollution and climate change.
The healthcare sector, including hospitals, is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation, exacerbating the global environmental crisis. The impact of climate change on health is well-documented, with estimates suggesting that failure to address this issue could result in 250,000 additional deaths annually worldwide between 2030 and 2050. Furthermore, the direct damage costs to health due to climate change are projected to reach a staggering USD 2-4 billion per year by 2030 (1).
Recognising the critical role of anaesthesiology and intensive care in reducing the healthcare system’s carbon footprint and aligned with the goals set forth at COP26, the Glasgow Declaration focuses on three key areas: medication use, energy use, and circularity in processes and waste. The declaration aims to achieve significant gains in environmental sustainability within the field by addressing these areas.
The recommendations put forth in The Glasgow Declaration prioritise several key actions to promote sustainability in anaesthesiology and intensive care. These recommendations emphasise the importance of selecting anaesthetics with the lowest global warming potential, optimising energy consumption in operating rooms, adopting renewable energy sources, minimising waste generation, and implementing strategies to mitigate pharmaceutical pollution in sewage water.
“The ESAIC Glasgow Declaration on Sustainability in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care is a crucial step towards fulfilling the European Union’s commitment to address climate change and achieve climate neutrality by 2050(7),” commented Prof. Wolfgang Buhre, MD PhD, ESAIC Incoming President 2023 and Chair of the Department of Anaesthesiology at Utrecht University Medical Centre. “We must consider the timeline for developing and making available environmentally friendly alternatives for medicines, devices, and equipment to ensure practicality and acceptability.”
The ESAIC wants to lead the way to enhanced environmental sustainability across anaesthesiology and intensive care.
The ESAIC will be at the forefront of promoting sustainable practices in healthcare by actively challenging current norms and advocating for integrating environmental sustainability into everyday activities. Furthermore, the organisation is committed to driving significant change through diverse educational programs focusing on various pillars of ecological sustainability in anaesthesiology and intensive care. By doing so, ESAIC aims to lead the way towards greener and more sustainable healthcare systems in Europe and globally.
“To mitigate climate change and address the environmental impact of hospitals, sustainable practices must be adopted across healthcare systems,” emphasised Prof. Edoardo De Robertis, MD PhD, ESAIC President 2022-2023. “As the European Organisation representing more than 150 000 healthcare professionals exercising only in Europe and 43 National Societies, it is our responsibility to tackle this problem and try to minimise our environmental impact and promote sustainable practices that benefit both our patients and the planet.”
“Through The Glasgow Declaration, ESAIC envisions a future where the environmental impact of anaesthesiology is minimised, resources are used efficiently, and patient care is aligned with environmental stewardship. By fostering a culture of sustainability and collaborating with stakeholders, the ESAIC aims to empower anaesthesiologists to be agents of change, contributing to greener and more sustainable healthcare systems.” comments Dr Patricio Gonzalez-Pizarro (ES), MD, PhD, Hospital Universitario La Paz Paediatric Anaesthesia and Critical Care, also acting as Chair of the Sustainability committee at ESAIC.
The Glasgow Declaration on Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care and the ESAIC
This Glasgow Declaration on Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care was written based on the European Union’s relentless commitment to addressing climate change. The European Green Deal endeavours to accomplish climate neutrality by 2050 and decrease emissions by 55% by 2030 (in comparison to 1990). The EU is also proposing regulations to lessen the utilisation of fluorinated gases (F-gases), potent greenhouse gases contribute 2.5% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions. For all the good that comes from our existing practice of healthcare and anaesthesia, this is important as healthcare has the carbon footprint of a nation. This is especially pertinent to the ESAIC since inhaled anaesthetic agents are hydrofluorocarbons, which are F-gases, an appreciable contributor to greenhouse gases (7, 8, 9, 10). The time is now to make available environmentally friendly alternatives for medicines, devices, and equipment that can ensure our patients still receive the high level of care they are used to while not causing damage to our planet. The ESAIC is ready to lead the way in this new and vital approach to clinical care. The Glasgow Declaration on Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care is the first step in a continuing commitment to produce sustainable and safe healthcare in Europe and worldwide.
“ESAIC wants to ensure sustainability becomes part of routine practice in healthcare. The Glasgow Declaration is the first step on this journey, a journey which will transform how we think and deliver healthcare in a safe and sustainable way. We are a society working in partnership with industry, our members, practitioners, and our patients to produce a healthier, sustainable future for everyone and our planet.,” said Prof. Edoardo De Robertis, ESAIC President. “Our ultimate goal is to work together with all stakeholders to ensure patient safety, improved health outcomes and greater environmental sustainability across anaesthesiology and intensive care.”
The Glasgow Declaration will be formally signed at Euroanaesthesia 2023 on the 3rd of June in Glasgow, a city that, despite its industrial roots, is renowned for its green spaces. The name Glasgow comes from the Celtic “Cleschi”, meaning “Dear Green Place”, and it is within our own Dear Green Place, a new collaborative, innovative space where industry, the Society, practitioners and experts can interact and learn from each other ways to promote and develop sustainability in anaesthesia and healthcare, that the declaration and the ESAIC vision will be unveiled.
– END –
The European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) is the leading European organisation for members and national societies for Anaesthesia, Intensive Care, Pain and Perioperative Medicine. ESAIC aims to promote the exchange of information between European anaesthesiologists; it serves as the hub to disseminate information regarding anaesthesiology. The Society helps raise the standards of the speciality by fostering and encouraging education, research, scientific progress, and exchange of information while promoting improvements in the safety and quality of care of patients who are under the care of anaesthesiologists inside and outside the operating room by facilitating and harmonising the activities of national and international societies of anaesthesiologists in Europe. Furthermore, ESAIC promotes the professional role of anaesthesiologists to improve the care of patients in the fields of anaesthesiology, intensive care, perioperative medicine, emergency medicine, and pain medicine.
For more information, please visit: www.esaic.org
Euroanaesthesia 2023 (EA23)
Euroanaesthesia is recognised worldwide as one of the most important and inﬂuential annual congresses in anaesthesiology and intensive care. With a history of over 5000 international participants from more than 100 countries and exhibitors, Euroanaesthesia is an outstanding international platform to enhance knowledge, review innovative techniques, learn our guidelines, and communicate, collaborate, and network with a large international audience.
This year, Euroanaesthesia – Europe’s landmark meeting on anaesthesia, intensive care, pain, perioperative medicine, and critical emergency medicine will be held from 03 June 2023 – 05 June 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland, for an inspiring and joyful experience to advance anaesthesiology and intensive care field further.
For more information on the scientific programme of EA23 and other interesting meetings at EA23, please visit https://euroanaesthesia.org/2023/.
About the Authors of the Declaration and the KOLs quoted in this PR
- Edoardo De Robertis (IT), MD PhD, ESAIC President 2022-2023, Director of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at the University of Perugia.
- Wolfgang Buhre MD PhD (NL), ESAIC Incoming President 2023, President 2024-2025, Chair of the Department of Anaesthesiology at Utrecht University Medical Centre (UMCU), Professor of Anaesthesiology at Utrecht University.
- Dr Patricio Gonzalez-Pizarro (ES), MD, PhD, Hospital Universitario La Paz Paediatric Anaesthesia and Critical Care, also acting as Chair of the Sustainability committee at ESAIC.
For further information, please contact:
|Arta Leci MA||Paul McConnell
|Marketing and Communication Manager
email : email@example.com
Mobile : +32 499 17 04 72
|Dr Paul McConnell MB ChB(hons) LLM FRCA EDIC FFICM
Chair of Ethics, European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC)
Senior Honorary Clinical Lecturer, University of Glasgow
Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley
- World Health Organization. (2021). Climate change and health. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-and-health.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Managing and Reducing Waste: A Guide for Health Care Facilities. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/Docs/Managing_Reducing_Waste_HC.pdf
- Shaw, A., McMurray, R., & Taylor, D. (2017). Environmental impact of inhalational anaesthesia. BJA Education, 17(5), 171-176.
- Sulbaek Andersen, M. P., Nielsen, O. J., Wallington, T. J., Karpichev, B., Sander, S. P., & Wallington, T. J. (2017). Inhalation anaesthesia: A contribution to global warming. PloS one, 12(6), e0178095.
- Romanello M, Di Napoli C, Drummond P, et al. 2022. The 2022 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: health at the mercy of fossil fuels. The Lancet 400(10363): 1619-54
- Romanello M, McGushin A, Di Napoli C, et al. 2021. The 2021 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: code red for a healthy future. The Lancet 398(10311): 1619-62
- European Commission. (2019). A European Green Deal. Retrieved from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52019DC0640
- European Commission. (2020). Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – A hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe. Retrieved from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52020DC0301&from=EN
- European Commission. (2021). Commission proposes cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_1998
- European Commission. (2021). Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. Retrieved from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52021DC0223&from=EN
To learn more, please visit: https://euroanaesthesia.org/2023/dear-green-place/