The organisation that runs Airedale Hospital has announced an ambitious 'Green Plan' - including more remote video consultations and replacing more vehicles with electric ones.
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says the new plan sets out a framework for sustainability and low carbon practice in the way it offers vital healthcare services - and to help the NHS to become the first health service in the world with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The NHS is responsible for 5% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and 3.5% of all road travel. At the same time, climate change has been recognised as having a negative impact on health, particularly in deprived areas, exacerbating health inequalities.
As a significant local employer and a trust providing care over a wide geographical area, Airedale says it recognises the importance of helping reduce emissions and improve sustainability overall.
The Trust’s Green Plan has 9 areas of focus to be achieved within the next 3 years including:
- A focus on digital transformation with more care being given outside of hospitals or in the patients home with outpatient appointments done by video consultation and a digital hub providing 24 hour care from the home
- reduction of energy use by switching to non-fossil fuels and investing in on-site generation
- upgrading the hospital lighting to LED
- replacing the trust existing fleet with electric vehicles
- installing Automatic Meter Readers to the water network to help pinpoint areas of high water usage and leaks
- reducing the use of gases used in patient care that contribute to GHG emissions
- Having a sustainable procurement policy and reducing single use plastics
- promoting access to green space including creating an edible orchard, a wildlife walk and planting 2,300 trees on the Steeton site
- food made on site, higher welfare and more sustainable food options, and supporting regional producers wherever possible
David Moss, Managing Director of AGH Solutions said: “Our Green Plan is a significant step for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and we are proud to be a leading NHS organisation in the area of sustainability. The plan will be the catalyst that drives our organisation towards Carbon zero.
“In 2013 we reduced our Carbon footprint by 50% through the installation of our Combined Heat and Power plant, new boilers, and lighting. In 2022 we will open our new ICU and an additional ward, this will be one of the very first all-electric inpatient buildings within the NHS, incorporating 80 photovoltaic panels and air source heat pumps.
“Sustainability is about continuous improvement and this Green Plan will enable us to become an adaptable and resilient organisation.”
Andrew Gold, Chair of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust says: “Through this Green Plan, we will work with our people, patients, partners and suppliers to take powerful sustainable development and climate action as part of our ongoing commitment to offer the highest quality care to our communities.”