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West Midlands Sustainability and Public Health Network

A learning network for public health practitioners to promote how sustainability can complement public health targets and drivers.
West Midlands Sustainability and Public Health Network


The West Midlands Sustainability and Public Health Network (WMSAPH) is aimed at providing advice, guidance, good practice ideas, networking and collaboration opportunities focusing on key sustainability priorities that also deliver improved public health outcomes. Key themes are not limited to the following:

  • Active and sustainable lifestyles, in particular walking and cycling;
  • Promoting the value of green spaces;
  • Air quality;
  • Community resilience to extreme weather;
  • Local and sustainable food;
  • Fuel poverty.

Why run this network?

Launched: Tuesday 4 November 2014
Re-launched: Tuesday 5 December 2017

Through the running the WMSAPH, we aim to influence joint action towards our 2030 sustainability priorities; lever in new funding and prevent health sector costs. The outcome is ultimately over time contributing to a reduction in the health inequalities within the region, whilst improving resilience, reducing carbon and improving access to jobs within a growing low carbon sector.

Like all of our networks, we aim to instill partnership working by bringing together a cross-sector of organisations to share good practice on sustainable public health initiatives.  We will do this by providing the network with key updates, running events, levering in funding and sharing new legislation.

You can find details of the re-launch events (December 2017 and January 2018) here and here.


Anyone in the public sector who has a public health remit within the region is welcome to join this network. It may also be of interest to public sector sustainability officers and anyone with a public health remit in the NHS.

We also run the West Midlands Public Sector Sustainability and Energy Network and the West Midlands NHS Sustainability Network, which may also be of interest.

Although our outreach will largely focus on the West Midlands, we welcome national bodies or those outside the West Midlands region joining the network if it is appropriate for their role – and appreciate that most events we run will take place in or around Birmingham!

Chair of the Network

John Middleton, who spent 21 years as Sandwell Council’s Director of Public Health and is passionate about the sustainability agenda, Chairs this network.  John’s wealth of experience in this area is crucial to us shaping the outcomes of the Network.  Find out more about John here and you can follow him on Twitter.


We’re delighted that National Express West Midlands are sponsoring our health networks. More effective use of public transport including local buses can reduce air pollution and congestion, help with car parking issues, provide safe transport of staff and visitors, and bring benefits wellbeing and self-sufficiency. Look out for a partnership event covering all these topics in the next few months.

National Express Group, which operates in the UK some 1,600 buses and 1,800 coaches, announced a vision to switch to zero-emissions vehicles. They pledge to not buy another diesel bus in the UK. The ambition is to have a fully zero emission bus fleet by 2030 and a coach fleet by 2035, making National Express the first zero emission transport group in the UK.

Key Resources and Tools

Climate Just – for disadvantaged community identification and case studies
Under the Weather – on climate impacts affecting the health sector
Sustainable Development Unit – for many public health resources
Learning for Public Health West Midlands – for local resources
Sustainability in Public Health England – Government publication

Download our network sponsorship offer.

priorities - transport qe bikes

Interested in joining?

If you’d like to join this exciting network, please contact enquiries@swm.org.uk.

Browse through our Events and News pages for any information and workshops coming up around sustainability and public health, and do interrogate our Resources page to find any public health related resources from SWM or elsewhere, including events we have previously run focusing on this agenda.  For each of these, you can filter results using the ‘health’ tag.