RCSI is first institution in Republic of Ireland to be awarded Beacon Status in recognition of its commitment to sustainable healthcare

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RCSI has been awarded Beacon Status in Sustainable Healthcare education in recognition of its commitment to integrate a more environmentally, socially and financially sustainable approach to health care teaching. RCSI is the first institution in the Republic of Ireland to be awarded Beacon Status.

Beacon Status is a ranking awarded by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH), one of the world’s foremost institutions for sustainable healthcare and practice and based in the UK. It is awarded to higher education institutions who are committed to sharing best practice in sustainable healthcare through the integration of sustainability into health professional education.

Beacon Status was awarded to RCSI by CSH in recognition of the commitment to developing planetary health curricula in undergraduate medical education and the integration of sustainability more widely into health professional education.

The award was announced by RCSI President Professor P. Ronan O’Connell marking the conferring of Honorary Fellowship of RCSI on Ms Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group.

Dr Debbi Stanistreet, Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Epidemiology, RCSI said: "The awarding of Beacon Status is a huge honour for RCSI and recognises our commitment to educating health professionals to deliver a more sustainable healthcare system. Collaborations such as this with CSH can result in lasting transformational change and support progress towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to which RCSI is committed."

Funded and supported by Health Education England, The Health Foundation and Kings College London, this project is being developed as part of RCSI’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3, ‘Good health and wellbeing’. RCSI is ranked second in the world for its contribution to SDG 3 in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021.

As part of its commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, RCSI is also leading on a national project, Climate Health in Medical Education (CHIME) to develop a shared planetary health curriculum for medical schools across the island of Ireland.

Reflecting its commitment to promoting sustainability in surgery, RCSI is also engaged in a comprehensive review by the UK Climate and Health Alliance of Net Carbon Zero in health care in conjunction with the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Professor P. Ronan O’Connell, RCSI President, said: "This important collaboration between the surgical training bodies in Ireland and the UK reflects our shared commitment to be leaders in promoting sustainability in surgery and reducing the climate impact of the care delivered by our surgical teams by working towards a net carbon neutral goal."