Whether you are GP running your own business or a doctor working in a large hospital, there are steps you can take to shape your organisation's objectives.
Why? Here are four good reasons:
- Lead by example in meeting your organisation's responsibility to protect and promote health
- Save resources and money which can be redirected to patient care
- Meet the requirements of NHS to reduce carbon emissions
- Protect against operational risks such as rising energy prices and energy insecurity
What can I do in my organisation?
There are two key steps you should encourage:
- calculating the organisation's carbon footprint
- developing a carbon reduction strategy for your organisation.
This should include action in the following areas:
Building energy is responsible for 22% of the 18 million tonnes of carbon emitted by the NHS annually.
New building design
Buildings are a significant part of an organisation’s carbon footprint, and new building design provides the opportunity to incorporate low-carbon measures.
Procurement and commissioning
It is estimated that over half of the NHS's carbon emissions result from the way it buys and disposes of products.
Food and drink
Many healthcare organisations provide patient meals, and new ways of sourcing and providing these can reduce their carbon footprint.
Encourage behaviour change
Engaging staff and patients is essential for effective organisational change as they are the ones who will need to implement new ways of doing things and feedback progress and problems.
Travel and transport
Five per cent of the UK’s road transport emissions are attributable to NHS-related journeys. Developing a sustainable transport plan can help an organisation reduce its carbon footprint, save money, and improve staff productivity and wellbeing.
Reduce waste and recycle
The way waste is managed can significantly impact on an organisation's carbon footprint.
Efficient water usage is an important way to limit wastage and energy use.
Embedding action on climate change in all organisational and employment policies will help address its threat as a corporate issue.
Finding examples of good practice
Find examples and share ideas with your peers using the NHS Good Corporate Citizenship Assessment Model (GCCAM) which has been developed to help you and your organisation contribute to sustainable development.
You can also share your experiences through the Health and Sustainability Network, the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, or via the Climate and Health Council.