BGES is welcoming major new plans in the NHS action on climate emergency and become the world’s first major health service to achieve net zero emissions.
In an announcement last week, the NHS acknowledged the huge impact of climate change and air pollution on human health: it hopes the new green initiatives will reduce rates of heart attacks, strokes and asthma, relieve pressure on A&Es, and save tens of thousands of lives.
Plans include the creation of an expert panel to chart a practical route map to enable the NHS to get to ‘net zero’. The panel will look at changes the NHS can make in its own activities; in its supply chain; and through wider partnerships – thereby also contributing to the government’s overall target for the UK.
The NHS has also launched its own grassroots campaign ‘For a Greener NHS’ to encourage staff and hospitals to cut their impact on people’s health and the environment. The campaign will build on the work already underway to help trusts and staff to cut emissions, energy use and waste, including phasing out oil and coal boilers and increased use of LED lighting and electric vehicles.
The NHS will also be taking immediate action in 2020, with a proposed new NHS Standard Contract calling on hospitals to reduce carbon from buildings and estates, whilst switching to less polluting anaesthetic gases, better asthma inhalers, and encouraging more active travel for staff.
Dr Nick Watts, chair of the new NHS Expert Panel, said:
“Everyone who works in healthcare has a responsibility to take action on the health emergency posed by climate change, and I encourage all NHS staff to join the campaign to feed in their ideas and help drive this forward.”
Gareth Barber, Managing Director at BG Energy Solutions, said:
“We’re delighted to see the NHS ramp up action on tackling climate change. Our own experience working with NHS organisations to reduce the carbon footprint of their buildings has shown us that the potential for savings are huge. We would be delighted to meet with NHS Estate Managers to help them understand the potential savings that could be achieved through intelligent control of building systems across their estate.”
Read more about how BGES is helping NHS organisations reduce their carbon footprint in our case studies section.