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We are committed to reducing the impact on the environment from our activities, wherever possible, whilst at the same time improving the quality of care to our patients and service users and their carers.
We have already taken a number of steps to reduce our carbon footprint at our sites and further steps are underway. These include introducing new technologies to help reduce our carbon emissions at our sites and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for a greener future.
Sustainable Development Management Plan
We have a Sustainable Development Management Plan in place (SDMP 2020-2025) and have set ambitious targets, which include the innovative steps we are taking to improve our sustainability.
Multimillion pound energy upgrade
We now have our own water logging equipment at the majority of our sites. This allows water consumption to be reviewed on a continual basis and we are able to identify water usage problems sooner.
We aim to be carbon neutral by 2040 and will decarbonise the estate, reducing our carbon emissions from energy used in our buildings from 9000 tCO2e in 2017/18 by 1/22nd each year.
Reducing our energy usage is one of the most important areas in our sustainability plan, in order to help reduce our carbon emissions and impact on the environment.
We have taken a significant step to lower our carbon footprint as part of a £4.7 million pound energy upgrade at the Hereford County Hospital site, which was completed in 2022.
The funding comes as part of a wider national decarbonisation plan supported by a grant scheme from The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) delivered by Salix Finance, which helps the public sector work towards their net zero goals.
The multimillion-pound upgrade provides greener energy and efficiency to Hereford County Hospital. Six of the older buildings on the site are now heated by a ground source heating array heat being extracted from 47, 200 meter deep bore holes, another two buildings are heated from individual air source heat pumps.
Works included the installation of 3,170 low energy lights in the main hospital building, and more than 300 roof solar panels, which will provide enough to power the equivalent of 27 UK homes per year. Modern switching mechanisms, 1,163 pipework insulation jackets and 263 metres of pipework lagging to reduce heat loss have also been installed in the buildings across the site. Find out more.
We have already installed LED lighting in our community hospitals and Gaol Street clinics and Ross Road Child Development Centre clinics, and offices in Commercial Road. This work has already produced a noticeable reduction in the overall energy consumption for these sites.
For all sites where we purchase electricity directly (18 of 20 sites), we have REGO certified energy from only renewable sources.
Waste disposal and recycling
The Trust put in place a revised recycling scheme and waste disposal in 2021, which includes recycling aluminium food trays, paper and cardboard at Hereford County Hospital. Typically 8 tonnes a month is removed via Pedicargo. The remaining general waste is used for heat generation so none of our waste goes to landfill.
We continue to put the 5R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle) into place where we can and are working with manufacturers of single use instruments that currently cannot be reprocessed on site to be re-cycled.
At our community sites, paper, card, plastic bottles, tins and cans, food waste from hospital kitchens and glass are all collected and recycled. Since this service started in April 2020, we have recycled 40 per cent of our waste produced at these sites. The remaining general waste is used for heat generation so none of our waste goes to landfill.
We are monitoring our recycling rate and identifying further areas in our supply chain where we can reduce unnecessary packaging and make changes and implement measures to further improve our sustainability.
We have a green travel plan in place, the Trust encourages staff to use sustainable transport, including walking, cycling, bus and train travel, and cycle racks are in place at a number of sites including Hereford County Hospital.
In partnership with Herefordshire Council, the Trust supports the sustainable Beryl Bike transport scheme in place in the county. Beryl Bikes and racks are in place at the front of the County Hospital for staff and the public to use. We also have salary sacrifice options available for staff to purchase a new bike.
We continue to explore further sustainable transport options and we will publish these in our updated green travel plan.
We’re working more efficiently by introducing video and MS team’s technology as part of our day to day work for staff meetings and outpatient appointments, where appropriate.
We have reduced our staff travel during work significantly with a number of staff now working from home and many meetings taking place online. We have also changed a number of our outpatient appointments to virtual consultations, where appropriate, which has reduced the need for patients to travel unnecessarily to our sites and these appointments are now undertaken as video consultations or via telephone. The environmental benefits of this are a reduction in carbon emissions through reduction in travel/transport.