A government minister has praised “pioneering ” NHS staff at a health trust based in Brighton for their green credentials.
Many have switched to electric and hybrid cars, while walking and cycling to work is encouraged and a growing number of virtual conference calls are replacing off-site meetings.
Health Minister Stephen Barclay applauded Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and its staff for ‘pioneering’ ways to make the NHS more green and sustainable.
The trust, which has its headquarters at Brighton General Hospital, has come up with a programme called Care Without Carbon.
But bosses are proud of the way that staff keep coming up with their own ideas to help the trust reduce its carbon footprint – and cut air pollution.
One member of the HQ team, Alex Brewer, digital media manager, said: “I like cycling to work when the weather allows.
“I actually bought the bike through the trust’s cycle to work scheme and I even used it in London to Brighton bike ride in 2016.
“When I cycle, I come into Brighton past the racecourse so I don’t have to battle up Elm Grove.”
The trust, which serves the whole of Sussex, now has a fleet of hybrid pool cars while the travel bureau encourages those staff leasing cars to opt for eco-friendly models.
The overall result has been a 24 per cent reduction in the trust’s carbon footprint since 2010 – enough to power 200 homes for a year.
Mr Barclay said: “We all have a responsibility to reduce our environmental impact and the NHS, world-leading in many other aspects, is certainly capable of becoming a shining example of sustainability.
“Schemes like the one pioneered in Sussex will pave the way for a truly green NHS in the years to come and I look forward to seeing similar projects across the NHS.”
The trust’s chief executive Siobhan Melia said: “We are proud of the excellent care our teams provide at the heart of our local communities.
“As a trust we are always looking at ways of improving and doing things in a more sustainable way.
“The Care Without Carbon team has worked really hard to make being green part of the culture at our organisation and it’s great to see them being recognised at a national level.”
The team’s work has earned the trust a national Certificate of Excellence in Sustainability Reporting from the NHS Sustainability Development Unit.
The award recognises the work done by the NHS to report what is being done to help protect the environment.
Reporting the work that NHS organisations do to ensure sustainability is mandatory. But the trust said that the way it goes about its reporting gives patients, staff and the wider community confidence that it is taking sustainability seriously.
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