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19.02.20

Renewable energy switch for over tenth of NHS estate

Climate change is no longer a problem we can simply ignore as a society, and a shift towards renewable energy use is one of the commonly targeted areas to combat the issue. With the NHS representing up to 5% of the UK’s carbon footprint, the healthcare service is stepping up its own commitments to decarbonisation.

NHS Property Services (NHSPS), who are responsible for around 11% of the NHS estate, have announced 100% of its energy needs will come from renewable sources by April 2020.

By moving to 100% renewable energy, NHSPS will offset more than 40,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Martin Steele, Chief Operating Officer at NHSPS, said: “Switching to 100% renewable electricity for all our buildings is a landmark moment in efforts to transform our NHS portfolio into a sustainable estate.

“We take our responsibility towards reducing the environmental impact of our buildings very seriously. This move will also help us to improve the wellbeing of our people and patients whilst reducing NHS operating and maintenance costs.”

READ MORE: Can the NHS find savings in their energy bills?

NHSPS is responsible for NHS estate totalling more than 34 million sq ft, with over 3,500 properties and 5,000 employees. The organisation has committed to actively making the sites it operates environmentally friendly.

The move towards 100% renewable energy by NHSPS comes following the launch of the ‘For a greener NHS’ campaign back in January.

In September 2019, Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, said the NHS would be accelerating its efforts to tackle climate change with a series of coordinated measures to reduce its carbon footprint. He also sought the NHS to embolden staff to lead discussions with the public around wider measures to address climate change.

As well as the switch to 100% renewable electricity by April 2020, NHSPS is also committing £1.5m in 2019/20 towards an LED upgrade programme, among other measures.

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