How we are governed
Explore the work of our board of Trustees, committees and read our annual reports.
As an independent foundation focused on building a healthier society, we believe in committing to bold action to address climate change.
We know the climate crisis is a huge threat to people’s health. We are seeing the impact of this in urban areas which suffer the extreme effects of weather, disruption to food and other supply chains, and worsening air pollution. We also know the climate crisis is a social justice issue, with those groups already experiencing the greatest health inequalities being affected the most. As an independent foundation focused on building a healthier society, we believe bold action is required to address the effects of climate change on global health.
We are delivering a comprehensive strategy to help us manage the impact of our activities on the planet and the health of people. We are applying the lens of how and where we can have the greatest climate impact to each of the three areas of our work. We are developing a clear path to reduce emissions and reach net zero in both our endowment – a diverse portfolio of investments and property – and in our operations. Through our programmatic work we are investing in, and testing, solutions to increase our understanding of the links between health equity and climate change in cities. In our work as the charity for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, we are supporting their commitment to be at the forefront of delivering sustainable healthcare.
We see our endowment as one of our most powerful tools for change, and therefore set it a dual objective of achieving both financial returns and health impact. We aim to achieve our climate commitments through a combination of investment, engagement, and divestments.. Across our endowment, we are committed to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, while also:
To achieve this, we are taking an evidence-based approach in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement to arrive at a transition plan with achievable goals, a clear roadmap, and timeline. As part of our detailed planning, we will be examining reaching net zero earlier than 2050.
We are taking fundamental steps to understand our climate impact and have begun work towards improving our practices and policies, including:
Our approach through Impact on Urban Health is to build our understanding of the health effects of the changing climate through the lens of our four programmes. We aim to do this by identifying the strongest links between our programme goals and where we are seeing the effects of climate change in our place. Policy changes from government combined with the effects of climate change will have big health equity implications. We need action at local, national and international levels to back innovation and influence policy to mitigate the potential increase in health inequalities.
This year, we are undertaking research to gather data around how and to what degree people in Lambeth and Southwark are, and will be, affected by climate change. We will then trial initiatives that link climate and our four programmes to assess how we can support partners to tackle climate change alongside our programmatic issues.
We already support projects that look at climate. For example, through our health effects of air pollution programme we funded a Clear the Air report and awareness campaign with the British Lung Foundation and Asthma UK. Launched at COP26 in Glasgow, this campaign highlights the disproportionate effects of air pollution on the health of different people and communities in the UK.
Our people are an integral part of this work. The delivery of our ambitious strategy is overseen by our board of Trustees and enabled by our Climate Change Working Group, a cross-organisational group of team members that provide strategic thinking and practical support. We will also report on progress towards our net zero commitments annually, beginning in the 2022/23 financial year.