The NHS Business Service Authority (NHSBSA) has declared a climate emergency and outlined it’s ambitious goals to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
In England, the health and care system contributes between 4-5% of the national carbon footprint while the NHS represents the country’s largest employer.
Working to support the Government’s environment plans, NHSBSA is working to support initiatives within the health service which will make a difference across England.
Through the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) system, which is managed by NHSBSA, more than 1.6 million NHS employees now access their payslips online each month, saving a monthly paper equivalent to six times the height of Big Ben.
Similarly, a 13% uptake in NHSBSA’s Electronic Prescription Service has been seen during the coronavirus pandemic. With 1.5 million patients cared for by the NHS every day, this has saved an additional six million sheets of paper per month. Over the course of a year, if placed end-to-end, these prescriptions would stretch halfway around the globe.
Meanwhile, the removal of plastic cards from some exemption schemes and the installation of solar panels at NHSBSA’s Hesketh House in Fleetwood have emphasised the organisation’s commitment to reducing emissions – with the later having so far generated enough renewable energy to power 107 semi-detached homes for a year.
A volunteer Environment Network, consisting of staff from across its sites, has also been established by NHSBSA, giving staff the opportunity to speak to someone should they want to highlight opportunities for improvement or better understand how they can individually make a difference.
Jayne Bruce, Environment Manager at NHS Business Services Authority said: “Climate change is recognised as the greatest threat to human health in the 21st Century and we’re already seeing the impacts of climate change across the UK and beyond.
“We know that a poor environment contributes to poor health outcomes, causing preventable deaths every year. We’ve made great progress at NHSBSA, but we need to do more and we are committed to climate action as we build back better.”
Michael Brodie, Chief Executive of NHS Business Services Authority, added: “We’ve all got a part to play, and for me this also links back to our vision that we have here at the NHSBSA, ‘to be a catalyst for better health’.
“We have an ethical duty to reduce the impact of our business on the environment. By operating more efficiently this can give benefits to our business and to the taxpayer too, as often reducing carbon emissions can also help to reduce operating costs. The cost and consequences of no action would be much greater.
“We’ve already had some great achievements to date that we’re really proud of. We’re reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, have introduced renewable technologies in our buildings and are embedding sustainability into the services we deliver. Today our climate emergency declaration and ambitious target of net-zero by 2030 demonstrate our commitment to action, to step up and to continue making a positive difference.”