The Climate Change Act 2008 created a new approach to managing and responding to climate change in the UK. It is the world’s first legally binding framework to help combat the dangers of climate change and sets a series of targets.
The NHS responded to the Act with the introduction of the NHS Carbon Reduction Commitment for England: Saving Carbon, Saving Health. Published in January 2009, this document mirrors the Government’s targets to reduce carbon emissions.
The document sets targets for all trusts to make significant reductions in their carbon footprint. It tells trusts they should:
- Have a carbon management plan
- Sign up to the good corporate citizenship model
- Monitor, review and report on carbon
- Actively raise carbon awareness at every level of the organisation.
In 2010, we joined the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Management Programme to develop a carbon management plan. Here’s how we are doing.
We’ve sunk a bore hole on the St Catherine’s site to draw off water for the Trust, this should result in cost savings of around £60,000 per year.
We were recently awarded the Water Efficient Regions award at the Taking Responsibility for Business Awards run by Yorkshire Water for our rainwater harvesting project at The Walled Garden in Balby – our onsite garden centre. Please follow this link to find out more.
We’re recycling just about everything – including bottles, card, paper, plastic, tins and waste metals. In fact less than 10 per cent of our waste now goes to landfill and 45 % of our waste is turned into energy.
General black bag waste is going to Refuse Devised Fuel and is used to provide power. We’re working with a company called ReFood to turn our waste food into helping power homes throughout Doncaster!
Waste food from the Tickhill Road Hospital site, from both patients and staff, is placed in special bins and is then collected by ReFood and used to generate electricity by using anaerobic digestion –a natural process that biologically breaks down organic material to generate large amounts of biogas, which is a combination of methane and carbon dioxide. It works in a similar way as the good old-fashioned compost heap at the end of the garden, only on an industrial scale.
The electricity generated is 100 percent green and enough is created to power 5,000 homes. Meanwhile, the waste left over from the process to create electricity is used as a fertiliser and soil improver at local farms.
It’s a win-win situation. It means we don’t get waste food placed down the drains causing blockages, which costs us money to resolve, and the waste comes in extremely useful, powering homes.
We’ve fitted solar panels at Forest Gate Day Hospital in Doncaster, Great Oaks in Scunthorpe and both Swallownest Court and The Woodlands in Rotherham. This means we’re producing a lot of free electricity to power our buildings. We’re also fitting some at St Nicholas House in Scunthorpe.
To save power we’ve continued the roll out of LED bulbs to all offices and wards. The bulbs are being fitted as areas are refurbished. This means we are going from a 58 watt tube to a 22 watt tube – saving more than 50% of electricity.
We’ve also started using LED bulbs in our street lamps on our sites – again saving electricity and money. It means we’re reducing from around 80 watt bulbs to 30 watt ones.
We planting around 300 trees during March and April in support of NHS Forest’s national project to plant a tree for every employee working in the NHS – that’s a whopping 1.3 million trees nationally!”
The new trees form part of an ongoing commitment to sustainability for the Trust which, in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), has already planted more than one acre of new woodland at its Balby site, as well as creating new walkways within the existing woodland to provide improved access for staff and service users. Please follow this link to find out more.
Efficient route planning
Staff working via agile working and in our fleet vehicles team are using efficient route planning – which saves not only time but vehicle fuel too and we’re currently working with a not-for-profit social enterprise called Co-Wheels Car Club to look at a fleet of pool cars for staff. A pilot project will be run in the coming year using low emission vehicles.This will which reduce the Trust’s emissions further and also cut business travel costs.