Green space

STH first trust in England to receive IEM award for all hospitals

South Tees Hospitals NHS FT has received an international environmental management (IEM) award for all its acute hospitals, making it the first trust in England to achieve this.

The trust aims to build on the award and carry out the next stages of their Green Plan, including widespread recycling; individual ward and department environmental audits; expansion of green spaces, and improving staff awareness.

The trust has already outlined initiatives to improve their environment and sustainability in their five-year Green Plan. They aim to achieve the NHS goal of reducing their carbon emissions to net zero by 2040, with an 80% reduction by 2028 to 2032.

The assessment process involved auditors auditing both online and at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, and the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, which took three weeks.

The auditing system demonstrates assurance to the environment and sustainability, and is regularly reviewed and audited by external auditors to ensure that compliance is maintained, as well as delivering continuous improvements.

Steve Bell, Environmental and sustainability Lead, Wastes Manager for the trust, and chair of the trust’s Greener NHS Group, said: “This is a significant achievement for the trust.

“Whilst other trusts may have the certification, they only have it for a particular department.

“This certification shows the trust’s commitment to the environment and looks towards continuous improvement. It also demonstrates to other companies and stakeholders that we require high standards of environmental assurance when going through procurement tender processes, this means sound business principles.

“It’s thanks to a lot of hard work from colleagues and partner organisations and we are delighted!”

You can join a wide variety of healthcare professionals at NHE’s Net-Zero NHS event on 25 August. Register for the event here.

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As was outlined by Sir Simon Stevens when the NHS announced their green plans back in 2020, 5,700 lives could be saved each year by improved air quality. Even more could see their overall health improve and be in a position to self-manage their conditions, rather than requiring NHS treatment. Covid-19 has already left the NHS with a sizeable treatment backlog, so anything which can be done to improve patient health and reduce demand is beneficial for all.

Working together, we can help the NHS realise its green ambitions as per the Net-Zero National Health Service report and its ambitious 2040 target. Join us on August 25, 2021 for our Net-Zero NHS event, where we will be joined by health sector leaders and innovators for a day of sharing best practice and networking.

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