National ‘green’ award for Northumbria
Major strides made by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to become more sustainable have been celebrated with a national ‘green’ award.
The trust won the best carbon reduction category at the Investors in the Environment (iiE) Awards which recognise organisations’ sustainability achievements.
Across hospitals and community sites in Northumberland and North Tyneside, Northumbria Healthcare achieved an annual reduction of 6,440 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) based on energy, waste and travel. This was a 17% reduction from the previous year with energy consumption being cut by almost half.
The award comes as nationally the NHS reaffirms its commitment to tackle climate change by setting out its aim to reduce its emissions to ‘net zero’.
Sir James Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s so important that large organisations such as ours play a part in reducing the environmental impact of NHS services here in Northumberland in North Tyneside.
“I’m really proud that our efforts over many years to make the running of our hospitals and community sites more efficient and sustainable have made a significant difference to the environment and been recognised on the national stage.
“The financial benefits of this work must also be noted with any savings being reinvested directly in patient care and local services.”
Northumbria Healthcare has reduced its energy consumption by installing LED lighting and improving heating and ventilation systems.
Less of the trust’s waste is now being sent to landfill and for high temperature treatment with significant improvements in recycling, especially in clinical areas, thanks to the efforts of staff.
A key focus of the Northumbria’s carbon reduction efforts is travel and transport and alongside its fleet of fully-electric vans, it has increased its electric vehicle infrastructure with almost 80 charging spaces trust-wide, with at least two on each of its sites.
Northumbria also supports cycle to work schemes and car sharing for its staff and was commended in the sustainable transport champion category of the iiE awards.
The NHS ‘net zero’ report, published earlier this month, outlines the considerable advances the health service has made in reducing its carbon footprint and its plans to further reduce its environmental impact. The installation of LED lighting is listed as one of the early steps that will be taken to decarbonise, alongside zero-emission vehicles.
Sir James added: “We welcome the publication of the NHS ‘net zero’ report and support the vision for a future, more sustainable health service. We are heartened that we are already implementing a number of measures highlighted and are committed to continuing to be a national leader in this field.”
The trust is the only organisation in the North East, and one of three NHS trusts in the country, to be a ‘green’ member of iiE and was supported by Capability North East in achieving its accreditation.
Jaclyn Curry – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
0191 203 1654 / 07833 046680