Our planet, our health: Sustainability at the Centre

Our planet, our health: Sustainability at the Centre

Each year, World Health Day focuses on a key topic impacting global health and wellbeing. This year’s theme, ‘our planet, our health’, explores the single biggest threat to international health and wellbeing – the climate crisis.

According to the World Health Organisation, environmental issues cause over 13 million avoidable deaths annually. As an organisation with environmental protection and sustainability at its heart, we know it’s up to us to take action.

“We are fully committed to safeguard the environment and build this into all aspects of our services,” says Lee Davies, Strategic Director. “Climate resilient, environmentally stable communities are healthier communities.”

In line with the Greener NHS strategy and WHO calls to action, we’re leading by example. We improve community wellbeing through a range of sustainable strategies governed by our Environmental Policy and ISO 14001 Environmental Management System:

Zero Carbon roadmap – We’ve pledged to become Zero Carbon by 2030. We create bespoke carbon reduction plans in the areas where we work, reflecting local carbon commitments.

Recycling and reuse – We are a circular economy business with a self-sustaining equipment model. We collect and recycle as much equipment as possible through multiple strategies including audits and social media campaigns, maximising resource potential. We donate unwanted equipment to international charities like PhysioNET, helping global communities. We eliminate single use plastics wherever possible and carefully follow local recycling protocols. Our environmental partners Baxter Environmental divert 100% of waste from landfill, maintaining our Zero Waste to Landfill certification.

Transformed transport – As part of carbon reduction plans we upgraded all company vehicles to meet EURO 6 low-emissions standards in 2019. We combine service activities into single journeys where possible to cut emissions, tracking economic driving through Lightfoot driver behaviour monitoring software. We’re also trialling electric vehicles. We operate from central service centres with good public transport links, improving access and reducing fuel poverty.

Environmentally friendly premises – We use renewable energy at all our premises. Colleagues follow sustainable working practices like wearing warm winter uniforms and keeping doors closed to retain heat. Smart appliances automatically switch off when not in use.

Sustainable suppliers – We only work with suppliers with strong sustainability credentials and environmental policies and practices. We encourage suppliers to reduce packaging and travel.

Education and outreach – We actively increase our colleagues’ awareness of the climate crisis through internal communication and posters at our premises. Colleagues take part in regular environmental projects like tree planting and conservation work. We help local businesses adopt sustainable practices, offering free advice and training.

By putting sustainability at the centre of everything we do, we influence and encourage positive change, creating climate resilient communities for a #HealthierTomorrow.

Read our sustainability statement here.