60 Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Annual Report 2020 -2021 CONCLUSION - ADVOCATES FOR CHANGE The time for sustainability by stealth and seeing it as a ‘nice thing to do’ or ‘someone else’s job’ has passed. Improving population health and wellbeing is inextricably linked to action to tackle climate change. There are many challenges. For example, although sustainability initiatives often reduce costs, how do we prioritise investment in stretched services? How do we balance essential infection control with the need to reduce waste in both packaging and single use products? The challenges may seem insurmountable, but I hope the case studies in this chapter have inspired you to explore how you and your organisations can deliver green and sustainable healthcare. While the pandemic is not a solution for climate change, it can be an historic turning point in tackling the global climate crisis. We must learn from it and make significant advances to deliver the fairer, greener, more prosperous Scotland we all want to see. We all have a key part to play in this. Can we, through the principles of Realistic Medicine, practise sustainable and greener healthcare? Considerations ■ What can we do within our sphere of influence to practice greener and more sustainable healthcare? ■ As we aim towards a culture of stewardship, how can we become more mindful of the NHS resources we use and use them more wisely? ■ Consider how you can influence and empower your colleagues and the people you care for to practice climate positive behaviours that can have a positive impact on their physical and mental health.