Hospital's Green Plan sets out environmental challenges


The Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust launches carbon reduction commitment

The new Green Plan will enable the trust to set out how it will meet the NHS's carbon neutral target by 2040

The new Green Plan will enable the trust to set out how it will meet the NHS's carbon neutral target by 2040

The Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has launched a Green Plan to mark NHS Sustainability Day and put in place an ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

The trust recognises it has a wider responsibility to public health that includes reducing its own carbon footprint to improve the environment and lead by example, placing a focus on prevention of illness as well as treatment and cure.

And the launch of its Green Plan ties in with a national plan that saw the NHS release its ‘Net Zero Plan’ with the aim of being the world’s-first carbon-neutral health system by 2040.

Developing the plan involved looking at hundreds of different elements, including transport, electricity, waste, medicines, anaesthetic gases, supply chain, and staff commuting, and what the trust can realistically do to influence a reduction in carbon emissions.

And the trust has made great strides in getting its staff involved, with the formation of an environmental strategy group with board representation, which meets regularly to discuss the environment and how it can be improved; and the introduction of more recycling bins across the site to reduce waste.

Lee Outhwaite, the trust’s director of finance and a member of the environmental strategy group, said: “The critical work which we have managed to complete is to fully map the carbon output of all the trust activities in the financial year before the pandemic so we have a carbon baseline to measure from.

“We are also reviewing our approach across the Joined Up Care Derbyshire Integrated Care System to make sure we have a common approach and agenda around lessening our overall environmental impact.

“In the trust we have specific areas of work we are intending to undertake about reducing carbon, in line with national expectations.”

Sally Ludditt, the trust’s health, safety and environmental advisor, adds: “We’ve already done quite a bit of work towards reducing our carbon footprint.

“For example, all of our electricity supplies are 100% renewable, we’ve introduced plastic and tin recycling in all ward areas, we have an online reuse system, paper consumption in the trust has been dramatically reduced as we become more digital, and the estates department is developing a Net Zero road map.

“We’ve installed electric car charging points and intend to introduce more across the trust, we’ve launched a cycle-to-work scheme enabling staff to get an electric bike, and we’ve installed new bus shelters and digital displays as part of widespread plans to promote sustainable commuting.

“Also, sustainability questions now form part of all tendering processes and we’re exploring more-environmentally-sustainable approaches to heat and power for the trust.

“It’s quite an undertaking, but we have been promoting environmentally-friendly activities for some time and have many enthusiastic staff and a staff environment group which has driven forward initiatives such as recycling, reuse schemes, litter picking, and vegan food options.

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“What the Green Plan underlines is our total commitment to the national plan and how we intend to play our part.”