Earth Day 2022: reflecting on the little wins that mean a lot for the planet

Today is Earth Day – where more than one billion people, governments, institutions and businesses will come together to recognise our collective responsibility and to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all.

The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world, meaning it has a significant carbon footprint that it is working hard to reduce. Radical new ways of managing the NHS estate are needed, and this is why NHS Property Services is leading the way with the development of one of the first net zero health centres in England – the Devizes Health Centre in Wiltshire.

It is also the small changes, when implemented across an organisation that make a huge difference to improving environmental impact and lowering costs across the NHS estate. Recycling is one such change.

In the last 12 months over 99 per cent of NHSPS waste has been diverted from landfill. This outstanding result has been achieved by:

Our Little Wins

  1. Standardised internal recycling, general and clinical waste bins and made it easier for our colleagues to procure these.
  2. Standardised waste bin labels and posters which indicate what can and cannot be disposed of in the receptacles.
  3. Assessed collection frequencies to make sure sites could recycle as much as possible.
  4. Completed hundreds of pre-acceptance audits which helps to understand how clinical waste is being managed and how to improve waste segregation.
  5. Developed waste management training, toolbox talks, procedures, and guidance for colleagues to follow and support occupiers.
  6. Launched waste e-learning training.
  7. Signed up to a scheme which allows NHSPS to give away furniture, office equipment etc. to other NHS Trusts, charities, schools and local authorities.
  8. Removed single use plastics from catering areas.
  9. Blocked purchase of single use plastic cutlery and plates in the system.
  10. Introduced internal recycling and waste segregation to many sites.
  11. Decreased the amount of external general waste bins and increased the amount of external recycling bins.
  12. Delivered knowledge calls on waste segregation and how to introduce recycling.

As owners of 12 per cent of the NHS estate, these little wins amount to a large impact on reducing the environmental impact across the NHS.

Further Information:

Event Diary

Global Healthcare Experts announced as Grand Jury for Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award 2023 to be held in London