The Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS FT, launched their Green Plan last Friday to mark Sustainability Day. The trust aims to reduce their carbon footprint, whilst recognising the wider responsibility on public health. This will include a particular focus on preventing illnesses, treatments and cures. It is thought that improving the environment and quality of air will in turn decrease the likelihood of people developing some long-term illnesses.
It follows on from the publication of the ‘Net Zero Plan’ aiming to become the world’s first carbon neutral health system. The idea behind the trust’s plan involved looking at the use of transport, electricity, waste, medicines, anaesthetic gases, the supply chain, and staff commuting.
The trust has also formed an Environmental Strategy Group with Board representation, which involves regular meetings discussing how improvements to the site environment can be made. This has already resulted in the introduction of more recycling bins across the site to encourage recycling and waste reduction.
Lee Outhwaite, Trust Director of Finance, and part 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. 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.”
The trust has also installed electric car charging points, with hopes of introducing more across the trust. Other initiatives also include a cycle to work scheme enabling staff to get an electric bike, as well as new bus shelters and digital displays, as part of widespread plans to promote sustainable commuting.
Sally Ludditt, Health, Safety and Environmental Advisor, at the trust, said: “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, and we have an online reuse system. Paper consumption in the trust has been dramatically reduced as we become more digital, and the estates department are developing a Net Zero road map.
“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 the trust has been promoting environmentally friendly activities for some time and we have many enthusiastic staff, and a Staff Environment Group who have driven forward initiatives such as recycling, reuse schemes, litter picking and vegan food options.
“What the Green Plan underlines is our total commitment to the national plan and how we intend to play our part.”