Credit: Janet Richardson/Real World Visuals

Credit: Janet Richardson/Real World Visuals

Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century and will affect most populations in the next decades, putting the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk.
Delivering healthcare has a significant impact on the environment, resulting in further health problems that require interventions. The aim of the project was to develop an innovative and engaging digital representation of key aspects of sustainability and health, in order to raise awareness about the need for education and promote the NurSusTOOLKIT.
The objectives were to:
  • Use data to visually represent National Health Service (NHS) carbon emissions.
  • Use data from our clinical waste research to visually represent inappropriately segregated waste and the potential savings that could be achieved by reducing the waste inappropriately segregated to the clinical waste stream.
  • To highlight teaching approaches and resources available to draw attention to sustainability and healthcare.
Signposting the NurSus toolkit - creative associates 2018
Signposting the NurSus toolkit - creative associates 2018


This online platform provides a host of materials to put climate change and sustainability at the heart of healthcare training. 

For example, one exercise asks students to consider how they could continue to deliver healthcare if equipment made from plastic was no longer available. Other activities are designed to make links between staying healthy and caring for the environment.

The toolkit is the outcome of a three-year collaboration between the University of Plymouth and universities in Esslingen (Germany), Jaen (Spain) and Maastricht (the Netherlands), funded by European Union programme Erasmus+.

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Real World Visuals

Real World Visuals specialise in data visualisation for contemporary environmental and humanitarian topics and challenges, turning unseen numbers and volumes into relatable imagery.
They have helped clients communicate a range of subjects such as air pollution, ozone, carbon capture, waste disposal, water and resource use to their audiences. The team are able to accurately transform data into images, animations and interactives that convey meaningful volume, scale and perspective. 
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Creative Associates

The Sustainable Earth Institute's Creative Associates projects aim to explore novel and innovative ways of communicating research and develop a portfolio of case studies of the different creative approaches possible.
Patient at Krygyz Research Institute of Balneology and
Recovery Treatment. Interestingly, it doesn’t take much to move people from the
formal expressions in portraits into a much warmer mood. Image: Carey Marks
Image: Carey Marks/Creative Associates