NHS leads the way on sustainability

Published: 22-Jan-2016

Trusts recycling 40% of all waste

NHS trusts in England are recycling an average of 40% of all waste and have significantly reduced water consumption as they strive to hit tough Government carbon reduction targets.

New half-yearly figures published in November show that NHS organisations are taking the lead on sustainability, with savings of £23m over the last year.

Published in the form of maps that enable comparisons to be made between the different regions in England, the reports show the following highlights:

  • A 4.3% reduction in building energy carbon footprint between 2007/08 and 2014/15
  • A 1.4% reduction in the last year
  • A £23m saving on energy use in 2014/15
  • 90 organisations - 38% - have reduced their building energy carbon footprint by more than 10% since 2007/08
  • A 4.2% reduction in water use between 2007/08 and 2014/15
  • Waste not recycled has decreased by a third, with 40% of waste now recycled or prepared for reuse

The report also outlines the efforts trusts are making to get staff, patients and visitors involved.

A total of 70% of NHS providers, and 30% of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England - 52% overall - have a current governing body or board-approved Sustainable Development Management Plan (SDMP). 42% of providers also have a board approved Adaptation Plan; and 43% are on track for a 34% reduction by 2020, or equivalent to a 28% reduction on the 2013 baseline.

Furthermore, a third of Annual Reports for CCGs and NHS providers included good sustainability reporting, while 68 organisations - 15% - excelled in clearly communicating the meaning of sustainability, policy, information and performance analysis.

The biggest reduction in building energy carbon emissions was seen in the North of England, which saw a 9.1% reduction, compared to the South, which saw a 1.6% overall reduction. London topped the table for the reduction in waste, with a 42% drop between 2007/8 and 2014/15. It was also top for saving water, with a reduction of 11.3% over the same period.

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