What We Mean By Sustainability

Sustainability (Sustainable Development) means working within the financial, environmental and social resources available while continuing to deliver high quality services. Working in a sustainable way requires us to think of the financial, environmental and social impacts of our decisions and actions. It requires us to think and plan for the long term. True sustainability allows us to not only reduce the negative impacts we may have on these three factors but to actually enhance the environment around us and support and improve the communities we work in and serve.

Our Responsibility

As an NHS trust:

• We are required to meet environmental legislation including the Climate Change Act, The Environmental Protection Act and The Public Services (Social Value) Act.
• We are committed to reducing our overall environmental impact and reducing carbon emissions by 10% by 2015 in line with the NHS Sustainable Development Strategy for the Health and Care System 2014

Energy Awareness

The NHS has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 34% by 2020. One of the ways we can support this is by reducing our energy consumption. Every day energy, and money, is wasted when appliances, heating, lights and other equipment is left on when they are not required. This is especially the case when left on unnecessarily over-night or over the weekend. This waste can be reduced by taking some simple actions:

• Switch lights and equipment off when they are not needed.
• Make switching off part of your daily routine.
• If appliances are faulty don’t ignore it, report it.

Our staff display the following resources in their building ward.  

 Lights notice: Display next to the light switch to remind people to switch lights off as they leave.
WC notice: Display inside WC to remind people to switch lights off and turn taps off after use.
Meeting room or office notice: Display this near the exit to remind people to switch lights and equipment off as they leave.
Closedown routine template: Developing a closedown routine for your area that incorporates switching off can help reduce wasted energy. Develop your own specific routine for your office\unit\building etc. This can be useful to ensure consistency and communicating it to all staff ensures that everyone is aware of their responsibilities. Including all staff in their area when developing it.

Managing your Carbon Footprint

Greenhouse gases are harmful to the environment and contribute to climate change. A carbon footprint measures the total greenhouse gas emissions we cause. It allows us to monitor our emissions, report on them and identify areas where we can do things differently in future to reduce them.

In 2015 the Trust completed its first carbon profile that showed the levels of emissions created each year from April 2010 through to March 2014. It shows that the Trust has reduced its footprint by 16% over the four year period and plans are in place to reduce emissions further. Read the first Trust carbon profile report here.



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