Green space

Carbon reduction saves Sussex Community NHS FT £10m

Sussex Community NHS FT (SCFT) has saved £10m in ten years by slashing their carbon emissions. The success is detailed in the fifth annual report of the trust's sustainability programme - Care Without Carbon (CWC) - which has been adopted by other NHS providers.

According to new figures, by the end of March last year, the trust reduced their total 2010-11 emissions (combined across buildings and travel) by 3,287 tonnes, or 39% - beating its goal of 34%. 

CWC saved the organisation the equivalent of 252 people’s annual carbon emissions, by spending £1.8 million on 100% renewable energy, and using computer software to control essential equipment like ventilation and heating. Carbon released by SCFT’s 70-building estate - which includes 11 community hospitals, 52 health centres, and seven offices - was reduced by 42% as a result of this investment.

Susie Vernon, Associate Director of Sustainability, said: “The team is now working on the next CWC strategy to take us to 2025. 

“This will include a 51% carbon reduction target, as well as an ambition to meet net zero carbon by 2040. These are tough targets but we know that a healthy environment supports healthy people, and in meeting these challenging targets we are further supporting the long-term health of our communities.”

Emissions from the trust’s fleet of vehicles is also at a historic low due to the use of low-emission vehicles and electric bikes. A successful engagement campaign has encouraged staff to walk, cycle or use public transport to travel to work instead. 

The rapid adoption of remote working during the pandemic has also reduced carbon emissions related to trust travel, although this has come after the data reporting period. 

Other initiatives have included trying to eliminate the use of high-volume single-use plastics, and selling items no longer required on Sussex Police’s eBay account, saving £3,800 in disposal costs and generating £3,600 in income in just four months. 

Read CWC's fifth annual report, Creating a sustainable future for healthcare, here.

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