Environment & Sustainability
Our vision is to provide high quality health care services in an environmentally sustainable manner. We are taking active steps to improve our energy efficiency, lower our water consumption, and reduce the impacts of the waste we generate. This year we developed our Sustainable Development Management Plan titled Greener Care, which is set to be ratified at Board level, and released to the public, early June 2015. The plan sets out our ambitions for reducing our environmental impacts and embedding sustainability principles in the organisation.
Our commitment to active carbon management and reducing our carbon footprint is very strong. So far the Trust has delivered a 10% reduction of its carbon footprint against a 2008/09 baseline through a range of energy saving projects. The need to reduce our carbon emissions and manage our energy is of crucial importance, but the Trust also has a range of other environmental impacts. Two key ones being water consumption and waste generation.
Energy – Building on the achievements of the Trust Carbon Management Plan published in 2010, our new carbon emissions reduction target is 34% by 2020 against a 2008/09 baseline, in line with national commitments under the Climate Change Act (2008). Beginning of 2013 we drew high level expertise from external consultants to conduct engineering surveys and a review of our progress against our carbon targets. The result is a Strategic Energy Review for the Trust, to guide us to 2020. In line with the recommendations of the review, we are now working with the Carbon Energy Fund (CEF) for the procurement and delivery of a range of carbon and energy efficiency solutions for the Trust. This will put us in a very strong position for the delivery of our carbon emissions reduction commitments and ensure the guaranteed delivery of energy savings for years to come with the implementation of a range of technologies (including renewable) by a delivery partner, to cover both supply and demand aspects of the estate.
This year we launched our Switch It Off campaign, aimed at reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint by encouraging staff, patients and visitors to adopt simple energy saving actions. Good energy behaviours, such as turning off lights and equipment when not in use, or closing doors to avoid draughts, can make a significant difference when replicated across an organisation. Those measures have also been proven to enhance patient experience.
Water – We are in a strategic partnership with water specialists ADSM to deliver water consumption savings throughout the Trust estate. As part of the project our water meters are being fitted with automated reads which will allow for accurate monitoring of our consumption. In 2014-15 we worked closely with Southern Water to ensure the Trust water discharges are identified and minimised, including putting into place formal Trade Effluent Consents for a number of our buildings.
Waste – Our two driving principles are “Zero-landfill” and the Waste Hierarchy. We fully grasp the costs and environmental impacts of waste, and we have allocated new resources to improve our waste segregation practices and thus the trust recycling performance. In 2014 we entered into new 5 year Waste Management Contracts to deliver significant improvements in line with this strategic vision. Our work on diverting waste from the general waste stream is on-going, and we have introduced stringent processes to ensure batteries, lamps and other hazardous waste are recycled. The Trust work on waste management was nationally recognised and secured the NHS Sustainability Day Award for best Waste and Recycling initiativein 2013.
In 2014/15 we increased our domestic waste recycling rate to 39%, meaning it has doubled over the last 2 years. The Trust is now recognised nationally as a hub of good practice on waste management. We won a Zero Waste Award 2015, gained Highly Commended in the NHS Sustainability Awards 2015, and were shortlisted as Healthcare Recycler of the Year in the National Recycling Awards 2015 (winner to be announced).
Key strategic objectives
Our key strategic objectives on environmental and sustainability management are as follow:
- Build on our Carbon Management Programme and ensure a long term vision for sustainable energy management for the Trust through collaboration with a strategic delivery partner.
- Reduce the Trust environmental impacts in the areas of water and waste management.
- Environmental/sustainability Key Performance Indicators to be reported and tracked at Board level.
- Increase engagement with staff and the public at all levels through a range of communications channels.
- Embed sustainability principles in the organisation's current processes and policies whenever possible.
Click on the image below to consult an eBook version of Greener Care, our Sustainable Development Management Plan for 2015-2020 (Flash required). A PDF version can also be found further below.