photo of group of staff in car park

In 2014 Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust developed Care Without Carbon (CWC), with the aim of ensuring that we can continue to deliver high quality patient care in the context of climate change.

CWC is designed to drive sustainability into day-to-day activity within the NHS and deliver against ambitious Greener NHS targets for Net Zero, climate adaptation and biodiversity. 

Care Without Carbon framework

With 80% of our carbon footprint determined by clinical decisions, to hit Net Zero, we must change the ways we deliver care.

Our Care Without Carbon framework is focussed on integrating sustainability into day-to-day decision making within the NHS.


Our vision: Together we lead the way in Net Zero Carbon healthcare, protecting the environment on which our health depends.
Member of staff working

Our three aims are:

01 Reducing environmental impact

Delivering care that is Net Zero Carbon, minimising our impact on the environment and respecting natural resources
Icon showing Care Without Carbon reducing environmental impact

02 Improving wellbeing

Supporting the health and wellbeing of our patients, staff and communities
Icon showing Care Without Carbon improving wellbeing

03 Investing in the future

Maintaining long term financial stability through sustainable decision making
Icon showing Care Without Carbon investing in the future

We achieve these through our Sustainable Healthcare Principles

These principles support both the urgently needed reduction in our carbon footprint and the delivery of high-quality care for our communities. They are based on principles of sustainable clinical practice originally developed by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare and they aim to tackle climate change on two fronts:

  • First, by optimising our level of activity/resource use by helping people to stay well, and by making our processes as efficient as possible; and
  • Second, by reducing the carbon intensity of the care we do need to provide.

Healthier lives

Making use of every opportunity to help people to be well, to minimise preventable ill-health, health inequalities and unnecessary treatment, and to support independence and wellbeing

Streamlined processes and pathways

Minimising waste and duplication within the trust and wider health system to ensure delivery of safe and effective care

Respecting resources

Where resources are required, prioritising use of treatments, products, technologies, processes and pathways with lower carbon, environmental and health impacts


We have 8 workstreams called elements

Our Care Without Carbon programmes are delivered through eight elements, reflecting the key areas of work required.

Partnership and collaboration

Climate adaptation





Circular economy

Evolving care

Sussex Community - the home of Care Without Carbon

Care Without Carbon originated at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. Our Green Plan 2021 sets out how we turn strategy into action.

Read the Exec Summary

Care Without Carbon across Sussex, Surrey and beyond - a common framework for change

Over the years we've developed partnerships with other NHS trusts and organisations across Sussex, Surrey and beyond, supporting and delivering sustainability programmes and projects. This has enabled us to share learning and develop specialist expertise, deliver joint projects and use our influence together to effect greater change.  

The CWC framework now forms the basis of our approach to deliver a greener NHS in Sussex, shaping NHS strategies at ICS and trust level to take us to Net Zero Carbon by 2040. 

You can find all the Green Plan's across Sussex and beyond below, most of which are based on the Care Without Carbon framework.

 View available Green Plans

Find out more about our partnership working

Our partnerships are key to our success in Sussex, Surrey and beyond - find out more about how to get involved.

Discover more


Learn about our vision and why it matters.

Meet the team

Our team is made up of sustainability specialists across a range of areas.

Working in partnership

Learn about collaborative solutions, sharing best practice and economies of scale.