What we do
Sustainability is important to ensure our services are efficient, environmentally responsible and fit for the future.
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) is dedicated to becoming a leading sustainable healthcare provider through delivering high quality care and enhanced public health without exhausting natural resources or initiating severe ecological damage. Furthermore, the Trust recognises that being a low carbon organisation is vitally important in aiding the reduction of the adverse effects of climate change on human health.
As the largest public sector emitter of carbon emissions, producing approximately 20 million tonnes of carbon a year (5.4% of the UK’s total carbon emissions), the NHS has a duty to respond the government targets which are entrenched in law. Legally, we are obliged to address climate change, with an 80% reduction in carbon emissions required by 2050 as set out in the UK’s Climate Change Act (CCA).
With over 1.2 million employees in England, the NHS is well placed to influence staff in terms of energy awareness and sustainability, with the potential to have considerable and far-reaching impacts in the wider community. Therefore, ESNEFT is committed to taking action at all levels to implement effective strategies that will mitigate our own contribution to climate change, facilitating the delivery of a truly sustainable healthcare service fit for the future.
Our newly implemented three-year Green Plan sets out East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust’s (ESNEFT) commitment to sustainable development, a vision of where we want to be, and an action plan for how to get there. Everyone has a part to play in delivering this plan and by working together, we will achieve our overarching goal of becoming one of the greenest Trusts in the UK.
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Our objectives and commitments
Our Energy and Sustainability Team have established 5 core objectives which seek to ensure our vision to become a leader in sustainable healthcare is attained, these are:
- to become a class-leading Trust with best practice CO2 emissions.
- to comply with all sustainability legislation and guidance.
- to minimise unnecessary expenditure on energy, water and waste, to allow resources to be re-directed towards patient care.
- to encompass the time matters philosophy by transforming the services of today in order to secure a sustainable future.
- to clearly articulate the Trust’s sustainability ambitions to staff, patients and visitors.
Our objectives will be delivered through a structured programme of works and commitments that will be focused around the following areas:
We commit to reducing our environmental impact, our dependence on natural capital and to enhancing the resilience of our built environments, ensuring they are fit for the future. This will be attained through greater investment in infrastructure, improved biodiversity, integrated behavioural change, active travel and adaptation planning, delivered through strategic partnerships.
We pledge to diminish health and social inequalities, linking and connecting with our community to tackle four core impact areas: reducing fuel poverty, enhancing air quality, sustainable growing and food and nutrition education. Through local collaboration, we will endeavour to create good quality, sustainable employment, skills and training opportunities and improve opportunities for social volunteering.
The wider NHS
ESNEFT will strive to lead the way as an exemplar NHS Trust through exhibiting best practice, knowledge sharing and innovation. Through participating in numerous national engagement events such as NHS Sustainability Day, Clean Air Day and Cycle to Work Day, we will utilise collaboration between organisations; NHS trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health and Wellbeing Boards. Furthermore, our collaboration with the East of England Regional Sustainability Network and our local Clinical Commissioning Group, will ensure we continue to drive the sustainability agenda across our immediate geographical location.
Strategy and progress
Our 2020-2023 ESNEFT Green Plan entirely epitomises our sustainability strategy for the next three years across the ESNEFT estate and local community. We have set out ambiguous targets we hope to achieve by the conclusion of the three-year period, encompassing key divisions of our operations including travel, models of care, capital projects, communication, green space and many more. Our associated action plan further breaks down our targets into simple tasks such improving cycling facilities or investigating the potential to generate our own onsite renewable or ultra-low carbon energy.
Our progress is measured through the Sustainable Development Assessment Tool (SDAT), which quantifiably demonstrates the current performance of the Trust. Our overall score in the SDAT currently sits at 38%, just under the UK average of 44%, indicating our need to categorically ensure the sustainability agenda sits at the forefront of the trusts activities.
At ESNEFT we encourage our staff to adopt our principles of sustainability not just at work but also at home. There are many choices we can all make to ensure the world we have today is here for tomorrow.
Why not become a Trust Green Champion within your work place and help the Trust to further diminish its carbon footprint. You can do this by encouraging staff to:
- save energy and turn off office lights.
- think before they print.
- use sustainable methods of transport.
- use recycled materials across the Trust such as stationery, furniture by checking the tea break on the staff room. You can share your unwanted items here too, you may just be able to help another team out.
- use recycling bins where available.
- switch off computers and monitors when not in use.
- become a staff green champion and help us to achieve our sustainable targets.
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