Children playing in a sun filled forest

Healthy Planet, Healthy People

How health funders can make a greater impact by supporting environmental work

The climate crisis is urgent and it affects us all. So any funder or charity that wants to maximise its impact must engage with it and needs to understand how the climate and nature crises will affect the people and communities they serve.

This guide shows the profound impact the climate and nature crises are having on our health, including heart and lung disease, asthma, water-borne and vector-borne diseases, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and stunted child growth.

The impacts are being felt worst by people who are already vulnerable, such as children and young people, older people, people with existing health conditions and people on low incomes.

Yet despite leading medical bodies worldwide agreeing that planetary health is critical to human health, the Environmental Funders Network found that just 6% of UK philanthropy goes to environmental causes, a figure that has only recently risen from even lower levels.

We recommend that funders should:

  • Give health and social charities the flexibility to explore and act on the environmental causes of the issues they seek to solve.
  • Support environmental charities to drive transformative change​.
  • Use their investments and innovative financing to support environmental improvement.
  • Green their own operations.
  • Sign up to the funder commitment on climate change:


This guide was written in partnership with the Environmental Funders Network.


Read more of our work on the environment