The Estates & Facilities Team, supported by Low Carbon Europe, are leading Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust towards sustainability through their Green Watch Programme. The Green Watch brand was devised in partnership with the Trust’s communications department, and includes a logo incorporating the strapline ‘time for change’. The logo of a watch comprises 20:20, a reminder of the next milestone carbon reduction target.
The Green Watch programme was designed to comprise two parts; strategic improvements to infrastructure via the Trust’s Estates Strategy and a staff engagement programme to encourage sustainable action. The Estates Strategy outlined the Trust’s approach to carbon reduction and making improvements to the estate, in light of population growth which is anticipated to rise by 7% in Dartford within the next 5 years. The Trust’s new Combined Heat and Power plant opened in December 2015, with anticipated 25% carbon savings estimated by ENER-G, the CHP providers. The opening of the new engine in the Energy Centre included a celebration with the Dartford Borough Council’s Mayor and local MP cutting the ribbon at the opening event. This event was used as the backdrop to launch the Green Watch programme.
Alongside the CHP, the Estates Strategy outlines a systematic approach to carbon reduction through environmental management including plans such as LED lighting upgrades, improvements to air handling units and developing the options for renewable energy sources. The Strategy is carbon reduction focused, incorporating percentage benefits of CO2 reductions, enabling the team to track carbon performance.
The Green Watch staff engagement programme has been created with carbon reduction as its focus to engage and encourage staff to adopt sustainable working practices. The programme includes a series of communications, dedicated workshops and events that focus on the links and co-benefits between sustainability and health, highlighting the carbon footprint of the NHS and targeting information and advice on how staff can take sustainable action for key aspects around travel, waste, water and energy. In order to support clinical staff to develop sustainable low carbon practices, Low Carbon Europe work in partnership with the Centre of Sustainable Healthcare to deliver their Green Ward competition. LCE support the work of the charity who are closely linked to the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and see the Green Ward competition tool as a vital resource to support information gathering around carbon modelling in clinical pathways.
The Trust ran its first Green Ward competition in 2016, and plans to run the competition annually. Teams were recruited, given a dedicated workshop on their wards and supported to develop green projects by a clinical sustainability specialist from CSH. Teams monitored environmental and social benefits to staff, patients and communities, calculating cost-savings and produced a brief write-up for the competition judging team.
The judging team visited the departments to learn about the projects, and the winners were announced on NHS Sustainability Day in March. The teams were invited to plant two trees contributing to the NHS Forest, and the winning team from the Heart Centre received a £500 prize to spend on greening their department. The excellent range of projects is shown in the table below, along with carbon as well as potential financial-savings assuming all projects continue for one year:
The Heart Centre chose to spend the prize money on a biodiversity project to enhance wildflower species on the area of land opposite the Heart Centre’s pacing room. This project has dual benefits of increasing species diversity and ensuring patients have a pleasant view whilst undertaking tests and treatment.
The Trust received an NHS Sustainability Award for Infrastructure & Design and are nominated for an HSJ Award for Improving Environment and Sustainability and an Energy Managers Award. If you would like to learn more about Low Carbon Europe’s Mindset 2050 Sustainability Services, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 666390.
Feedback from Client: We are very satisfied with Low Carbon Europe’s services, through collaboration we have managed to get back on track with our energy and sustainability targets. Their work has raised the profile of the Estates team and embedded the importance of sustainability across the Trust.