Dental practices recognised with green award
More than 180 dental practices across the UK have been working on improving their sustainability through the Green Impact Dentistry programme, with 17 practices being recognised with an award in the first year.
Green Impact is an award-winning programme which supports organisations to reduce their negative impacts and improve their sustainability. It runs across many sectors and countries, and is delivered by the education charity, SOS-UK.
Green Impact Dentistry, a nationwide programme tailored to support dental practices to improve their sustainability, was launched in 2023, building on effective Green Impact programmes running across other areas of healthcare, including a hugely successful programme for general practice and a primary care programme in Wales.
It was a valuable experience contributing to sustainability efforts in the dental field.
It was funded by the NHS Healthier Futures Action Fund in 2023 and championed by the East of England Greener NHS team. It was supported by the Office of the Chief Dental Officer England and the content was created in collaboration with leading academics such as Dr Brett Duane. The programme is free to access for any dental practice in the UK.
Last year the programme has been open nationwide, following a pilot in the East of England in 2019, and more than 180 dental practices registered in 2023. 370 members of staff from varied roles were part of Green Impact teams at their practice, and those teams completed 2,614 positive sustainability actions. 17 practices completed enough actions to submit for consideration for an award in Autumn 2023.
In order to verify the practices’ award levels, SOS-UK trained 17 student auditors to conduct sustainability audits of the practices and verify the actions and evidence submitted. This student-led audit process adds to the social value of the programme, by providing students from many different disciplines with a unique IEMA-approved training and development opportunity, building their understanding of sustainability in practice.
Following the audit process SOS-UK awarded: 9 Bronze awards, 4 Silver awards and 4 Gold awards. One of the student auditors commented: “It was a valuable experience contributing to sustainability efforts in the dental field.”
The programme will continue in 2024, thanks to Greener NHS funding, and the next round of awards will be announced at the end of the year. If you are a dental professional, or a dental commissioner, you can contact SOS-UK to get involved in 2024. All enquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.