Planting extra trees, harvesting rainwater and installing LED lighting are just some of the ways we are helping improve the hospitals’ carbon footprint.
As part of our Green Plan launched by ESNEFT, we are committed to a wide range of eco-initiatives over the next three years.
All areas of the Trust are earmarked for improvements to help reduce the environmental impact; with travel, buildings, green spaces and how staff work among the list.
Trees have been planted at Colchester and Ipswich hospitals. The trees were donated and planted by Simon Pryke and Scott Bastick, who work for Environmental Design.
Paul Fenton, Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “We have big ideas for the Green Plan and are very excited about our aims to make improvements.
“The Trust manages Colchester and Ipswich hospitals and community healthcare services in north Essex and east Suffolk, and serves a local area of 800,000 residents. So it’s not a surprise that the Trust consumes a large quantity of natural resources, gas, electricity, oil, water as well as significant spending on waste, fuel, food, clinical goods and pharmaceuticals.
“We have a considerable carbon footprint which influences the effects of climate change.”
The team from Route 51 who visit Ipswich and Colchester hospitals every week to offer a drop-in bike maintenance check for any ESNEFT colleague.
Part of the Green Plan is to encourage behaviour change among staff, with initiatives to help them become more environmentally friendly. Staff can make lots of little changes through a variety of initiatives by the team pushing forward the Green Plan.
Employees of ESNEFT can already sign up for the cycle scheme which offers reduced-cost bikes to ride to work and there will be improvements to recycling with additional bins installed across the sites and a reduction in single-use plastics with the Trust having already signed up to the NHS Pledge on Reduction of Single Use Plastics.
The lake at Colchester Hospital that has been re-landscaped, relined, tree roots removed as well banks restored and fish given health checks.
Additional trees will be planted as part of the NHS Forest Project and the grounds maintenance teams will be highlighting fitness trails and measured walks around the hospital sites.
Phase 1 of new LED lighting has been changed in the maternity area of Ipswich Hospital, with plans to expand the scheme in the future.
Changes to ESNEFT buildings is also part of the plan, with outdated fluorescent lights being changed for more energy-efficient LED lights which will save more than £30,000 a year. Retrospectively fitting solar panels is also being explored and harvesting rainwater and surplus waste water to reuse is among the plan.
Paul added: “Recycling rainwater and waste water from medical processes as ‘grey water’ means we could use that water again in toilets. We’re exploring all possibilities.”
Some of the work has already begun, with the replacement of inefficient electric chillers at Colchester Hospital.
Tim Hewes, Energy & Sustainability Manager at ESNEFT, said: “The project has cost nearly £650,000 so far, funded by Salix Finance, but it’s estimated to save the Trust more than £135,000 per year and cut our annual carbon emissions down substantially.
“At Colchester and Ipswich hospitals recycled printer paper is also now being used that’s made from pulp. It doesn’t include bleaching agents to make the paper even whiter, which means it’s also biodegradable.”
Sustainability champions are being recruited to help share the ways in which staff can help, and feedback or new ideas about how improvements can be made is being encouraged.
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