Sustainability 

We are continuing to make excellent progress in improving the environmental impact of our work. Our sustainable development, carbon, and waste management policies integrate the latest requirements and guidance from the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and clearly demonstrate our environment-friendly credentials. All UCLH tendering processes and business cases include an assessment on sustainability.

In 2016 we retained our Carbon Trust Standard certification for reducing carbon emissions. This is a mark of excellence, providing independent verification for our carbon footprint management.

We are one of the first NHS foundation trusts in England to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for Waste. This additional certification recognises our achievements in reducing waste each year and our continued efforts to deal with waste more effectively by increasing recovery, recycling and reuse.

We have also been looking at water efficiency across the estate and in 2017 achieved the Carbon Trust Standard for water reduction, becoming the first and only NHS trust to achieve a triple carbon standard for water, waste and carbon.

  • Reducing carbon emissions

    Our direction is clearly defined by policies for sustainable development, carbon, and waste management which integrate the latest requirements and guidance from the NHS Sustainable Development Unit. We are working hard to cut emissions by more than 28 per cent against our 2007/08 baseline by 2020. This represents a target of 0.16 tCO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per patient contact. In 2016/17 our carbon emissions per patient contact was 0.20 tCO2e.

    Our reported carbon footprint includes those sources where we have a good understanding of emissions. This year UCLH has attempted to include emissions from procurement, our supply chain, waste plus transport and travel which will be integrated into the 2020 reduction target. We are working to quantify and reduce emissions from these sources more thoroughly.
  • Reducing waste

    Feedback from the Carbon Trust has provided a good framework for us to use our resources efficiently, as well as for cutting costs. We have revised our Waste Policy to measure our success against waste targets more accurately.
     
    We now have a secure area to store surplus furniture and equipment for re-use across UCLH. We aim to challenge a ‘disposable culture’ by encouraging staff to donate unwanted furniture. Staff are also encouraged to enquire what items are in the store before buying new ones to reduce waste, save money and keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. During the financial year 2016/17, 198 items have been re-used.

    We have identified an aid agency that needs medical equipment and currently have more than a 100 crutches in our re-use store ready for donation. This means we send less waste to landfill, reduce waste costs and make a small contribution of medical aid to those in need.
     
    To help us reduce our waste, we:
    • diverted 100 per cent of our recycled waste from landfill
    • increased recycling facilities at our hospitals
    • introduced monthly waste audits to highlight areas for improvement
    • increased battery recycling facilities on all sites
    • adopted a kg waste/patient metric for measuring waste targets
  • Remaining sustainable

    We have some challenging carbon reduction targets ahead. By 2050 we aim to reduce our carbon emissions by 78 per cent, with interim targets of 28 per cent by 2020 and 45 per cent by 2025.
     
    The work of the UCLH Sustainability Steering Group is constantly evolving and remains responsive to new challenges. The group consists of senior managers and clinicians from pharmacy, radiography, procurement, information systems, and estates and facilities management.
     
    We continue to work with colleagues across the NHS to reduce the impact and cost of energy, waste, water and transport. We are an advisory board member of the Camden Climate Change Alliance. As a member of the Shelford Group, we are collectively working towards sustainable procurement.
     
    We are working to improve energy performance by:
     
    • adapting our existing electricity sub-meters so we can monitor the amount of electricity we are using at any given time throughout University College Hospital. This will help us proactively reduce electricity consumption if required
    • exploring setting up a software package that would allow us to view how much energy we are consuming on a daily basis
    • introducing an energy efficient LED lighting programme across UCLH
    • undertaking a feasibility study on how we can generate heat and power more efficiently on site.
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