New web portal provides carbon reduction guidance for NHS trusts


London hospital shares secrets of carbon reduction success

Sustainability managers at a leading London teaching hospital are sharing the secrets of their success in cutting carbon emissions through a new web portal launched earlier this month.

Unveiled at the recent IHEEM Healthcare Estates Conference in Manchester, the NHS Sustainability Portal has been put together by built environment research organisation, BRE, in conjunction with University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH).

Aimed at providing guidance for health organisations looking to reduce their energy consumption, cut carbon and minimise waste, users will be given access to methodologies, processes and information inspired by, and developed in, the style of Marks and Spencer’s Plan A sustainability strategy, which is helping the high street giant to become the world’s most sustainable major retailer.

The portal addresses five key areas reflecting the Department of Health’s vision for the NHS - procurement, waste, travel, energy and water. Each area will be illustrated by examples of policies, actions and reporting mechanisms that have been adopted at UCLH.

Commenting at the launch, Niall Trafford, head of sustainable development at BRE, said:’The NHS generates a massive 18 million tonnes of carbon per annum. It is now faced with very challenging reduction targets set out by the Government, so the timing is right for a portal like this. The evidence base of information it contains on carbon and other areas will help trusts and organisations take the right steps towards minimising their CO2 emissions and reducing other negative impacts on the environment.”

David Pencheon, director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, added: “This portal is another great way of getting the NHS to reduce emissions and to take action on sustainability. It will be a great resource for all NHS organisations and we hope they make use of it.”

As well as the portal, UCLH and BRE are also aiming to develop a centre of excellence for evidence-based design, sited at UCLH in central London.

Talking about its approach to reducing emissions, Trevor Payne, director of estates and facilities management at UCLH, said: “The trust has a mix of buildings that make up the estate; from Victorian facilities to a brand new cancer centre.

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“We have embraced the need to reduce our emissions and have had to be innovative. The idea of the portal is to share what we have been doing.”