We take our environmental duties seriously and are continuously working to reduce our impact on the environment.
In June 2009, our Board of Directors approved an updated environmental and sustainability policy statement. This supports the NHS carbon reduction strategy for England published by the NHS sustainable development unit and the NHS operating framework.
The benefits of sustainable development:
- save energy and reduce heating and lighting costs
- monitor and reduce carbon emissions
- develop lower cost and healthier travel options for staff and service users
- manage waste by reducing, re-using, recyling and reducing cost
- enhance the organisation’s reputation as a good corporate citizen.
Sustainable development in the NHS in the East Midlands
In the East Midlands, the NHS has set up a carbon reduction project and we are a member of the network that supports this.
Board approval of the sustainable development strategy and management plan
To support the environmental and sustianability policy statement and to fulfil the requirements of the NHS East Midlands carbon reduction project, a sustainable development strategy and management plan has been developed.
The strategy and management plan supports the Trust status as a good corporate citizen correspondingly enhancing reputation and assurance of compliance with the requirements of the Climate Change Act (2008).
The NHS sustainable development unit designed the good corporate citizen model as a continuous assessment tool based on six facets; travel, procurement, facilities management, workforce, community engagement and buildings. This shows that we have made a reasonable start in dealing with each of the issues that are contained within the good corporate citizen model and the highlights the areas that we need to improve.
Investing to save
The NHS carbon reduction strategy obliges NHS organisations to make a 10% saving in CO2 by 2015. Because there is a direct correlation between CO2 and energy, there is an opportunity to make financial savings.
The NHS sustainable development unit, the Carbon Trust and the Energy Saving Trust have identified proven technology that will save energy and deliver a return on investment. We are investigating the various technologies available to save energy and will consider investing in projects that have less than a 5 year payback period. This will not only help us meet our evironmental responsibilites but will also save money that can then be reinvested in improving healthcare.
There are further opportunities to save by planning sustainable transport options for staff and service users. Gateway reference number:13498 promotes NHS organisations to have an active travel strategy that puts walking and cycling at the heart of local transport over the next decade. We already incentivise staff to cycle by paying 20p per mile for official journeys and commuting to work.
The sustainable development strategy and management plan allocates lead directors to each theme in the strategy. To be fully effective however this will also be supported by technical knowledge and skills and arrangements for this are in place.
Supporting A Greener Environment (SAGE)
We run a volunteer scheme for staff who are interested in supporting us to become more sustainable. These volunteers are called SAGE’s and the scheme is run in conjunction with other public bodies throughout Lincolnshire who currently include: NHS Lincolnshire, County Council, several District Councils, Lincoln University and the Police.
What is a SAGE?
They are volunteers with an interest in environmental issues that are willing to spend a little of their time assisting us in reducing its environmental impact. Whilst having a commitment to environmental matters is essential, good communication skills, tact and diplomacy are equally important when trying to encourage good environmental practice.
What do they do?
They will assist in the planning and running of any environmental campaigns and provide feedback on the success of these campaigns. They will act as a local source of advice and assist in answering colleagues’ questions on environmental issues. They will carry out simple observation and survey work such as encouraging staff to turn off lights and PCs.
The Green Group meets once every two months to discuss sustainability issues within the Trust.
Progress against the sustainable development plan is reported on and actions delegated as necessary. Any questions received from staff are discussed and answered on the opinion of the group as a whole.
Route map for sustainable health
Imagine a time when going to hospital is seen as a failing of the health and social care system; where most of the care and support you need can be offered at home; where you can get instant medical help online, by phone or at a local health centre; where health inequalities are low and well-being is key.
Imagine a place where the few buildings that support the health system are in tune with the environment. They use almost no carbon and are integrated into the community and with nature. They are inviting for patients and a pleasure to work in.
Imagine a world where friends, family and society help promote healthy living. Where we all support the local health and social care system to recycle, re-use and minimise waste. Where we know that delivery of services takes the long term financial, social and environmental costs into account.
Imagine knowing that we have done our best to improve health having minimised our impact on the environment.