Having a positive impact on human and planetary health

The UK Government has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. The interim step is a reduction of CO2 emissions of 45% by 2030. The BDA is committed to playing its part in achieving this.

Our members are playing a key role in achieving net zero, not only in the NHS and with individual service users, but also in industry and research, as well as in their own communities and in the national curriculum for dietetics and dietitians are well placed to provide expertise on issues of food security.

We need to understand more about what this means for our business and we need to know more about what help and support our members want in this space.

As with our golden thread for a diverse and inclusive profession, our role here is multifaceted:

As a Trade Union

We have a responsibility to embed environmental sustainability into mainstream bargaining and trade union organising.

We are here to ensure that our members have decent jobs and safe workplaces that contribute to achieving sustainability.

By 2034 we will have made a demonstrable contribution to changing the working lives of our members as part of the transition to greener jobs and a more sustainable NHS. We will be leaders in the trade union movement in campaigning for an end to food poverty and the implementation of sustainable food production and distribution.

By 2027 we will:

  • Have a network of reps who are trained and aware of the environmental impact of green skills at work.
  • Have contributed to the TUC work on a transition to a net zero economy by participating in policy development and campaigns.

As a Membership Organisation

We have a responsibility to ensure our members are supported in delivering services that make a positive difference to the climate and health, based on high quality evidence, best practice and public health advice. This means we need to be providing the right tools and resources, education and expertise to support service delivery.

By 2034 all of our members will have a solid understanding of the impact of food and drink recommendations on the climate. They will know where to go to access tools to help them tailor their services to limit the impact on the climate and they will feel safe in raising questions about the climate, service delivery and membership and know where to go to get answers.

By 2034 BDA members will feel proud of how their association listens to their views in this space and responds with action. They will know what progress the association is making.

By 2027 we will:

  • Have asked our members what help and support they need to deliver services that reduce the impact of dietary advice on the climate, and will have some factsheets and other tools to support this.
  • Have asked our members specifically if they want the BDA to declare a Climate Emergency and will have acted upon their response with an appropriate evidence-led, food-system-relevant statement and plan.
  • Regularly report to our members our achievements in this space through our Annual Report and ask what support they need when we run member surveys.
  • Have measured the climate impact of individual BDA membership and have made changes regarding hard copy communications, use of plastic etc. in membership materials. We will have updated our member preferences in this area.

As a Professional Body

We need to play a leading role in influencing positive change in the food system, in the NHS and in the lives of individuals. Because of the vastness of the topic, we need to be clear on the scope of what and who we are trying to influence and ensure we are carrying the verified voice of our members. This requires regular consultation with members. It requires our messages to be evidence-based and aligned to other key topics in clinical and public health nutrition. We need to be working in collaboration with other international dietetic associations, with other allied health professions and like-minded organisations.

By 2034 BDA members will be recognised for their expertise in food and climate change. Within our agreed scope we will be supporting our members to influence for climate action in their roles and in their local communities. We will have regularly updated resources for individuals and community groups on our website including ‘One Blue Dot’ and food waste guidance.

By 2027 we will:

  • Have agreed a scope of influence to support our activities on this topic and ensure maximum value for our resources.
  • Have set up a survey mechanism for regularly engaging with members on what resources they require to support climate action and will have a framework for prioritising subsequent actions.
  • Be identifying and collaborating with like-minded organisations to share ideas and amplify our collective impact.
  • Have updated ‘One Blue Dot’ resources and provide this and other tools on our website for the public.
  • Will have delivered additional food waste reduction programmes to local councils and other community organisations.
  • Will have delivered our ‘Eating healthily for the planet’ educational workshop to employees across the NHS and other public and private sector organisations and to BDA staff.
  • Have a policy in place to ensure research conducted under the BDA’s GET grant schemes gives appropriate consideration to climate impact.
  • Have tools to support specialist groups to consider their specialism’s impact on the climate and support them to advocate for positive climate action.

As a socially responsible organisation

The BDA pledges to review our impact against each of the UN Sustainability Goals and plans to address those against which we can have the most impact, through a continuous improvement approach. We will achieve the goal of net zero by 2050 (or sooner).

By 2034 the BDA will have achieved a 45% reduction in our CO2 emissions (by 2030) in line with the Government’s targets and will be making further progress towards net zero by 2050.

By 2027 we will:

  • Have measured our impact in the areas of the UN Sustainability Goals and identified priority areas for action.
  • Have a benchmark for our CO2 emissions, and our benchmark against the Climate and Health Scorecard.
  • Have regular Board reporting and a standing agenda item on BDA activities to address climate change.
  • Have a plan to reduce our CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030, and to improve our score on the Climate and Health Scorecard year on year and will be actively working towards this.
  • Have a plan to influence the BDA’s priority areas in line with the UN Sustainability Goals.
  • Include climate impact assessment in decision making.
  • Be engaging with members on our baselines and seeking their support for our action plans.
  • Regularly evaluate progress and communicate our achievements and failures. We will do this openly, with a spirit of collaboration.
  • Have built links with other allied health profession bodies, international dietetic associations and other like-minded organisations to share ideas, resources and collaborate.
  • Have grown our active campaigns each year to champion climate sustainability including Greener AHP Week and our existing Sustainable September.
  • Ensure those partners with which we work and suppliers we commission have commitments to address climate change and plans to deliver on them.
  • Be publicly accountable by publishing our measured progress and achievements in our Annual Report.

As individuals

By 2034 we want all staff and those working with the BDA to be aware of the positive impact the dietetic profession can have on climate change, and be cohesive in the desire to support this. We want individuals who work for and with the BDA to be considering the environment in their day-to-day activities.

By 2027 we will:

  • Ensure our internal policies and accepted norms reflect and acknowledge our impact on the climate.
  • Ensure that the impact of our office environment on the planet is reduced through good waste and recycling management, efficient food ordering and energy usage.
  • Provide more advice to staff regarding working from home efficiently.