Nottingham Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has made a big green impact by saving £10,000 and avoiding over 100 tonnes of carbon in just one year thanks to an environmental initiative.
Green Impact, which the Trust has run for two years, is designed to help staff and patients improve their environmental performance and working environments. Sixty-nine teams at the Trust have taken part, comprised of 555 staff members and 245 patients, who have completed an impressive 833 sustainability actions.
Each year the efforts of those involved in the Green Impact scheme are recognised and celebrated with a special awards ceremony, and this year saw the Property and Space Utilisation Team win a Environmental Impact Award for using Warp It to reduce carbon footprint and donating items to Mesopotamia charity.
The Trust signed up to Green Impact as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability and has integrated the Warp It service into the scheme to make it even easier for people to take actions and help the Trust move to its Net Zero target by 2040.
Above: Green Impact actions
Harriett Tyler, Environmental Officer, is part of the team leading Green Impact at the Trust and spoke to us about the success of the scheme and how it, along with the Warp It redistribution system, is integral to achieving the Trust’s strategic goal to become environmentally sustainable.
“Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been at the forefront of environmental improvements for a long time, and we are the first Mental Health Trust to embrace the Green Impact initiative. It has been enormously successful in helping us to move towards our environmental goals and make lasting sustainable change.”
Green Impact, which is a United Nations award-winning programme, is designed to support environmentally and socially sustainable practice in organisations by giving staff an online workbook of manageable actions, which are then simply recorded and submitted as evidence once complete.
Above: Green Impact actions include coffee mornings and bee hotels
The workbook is made up of a variety of environmental actions on issues including food, waste, energy, travel, and biodiversity, all of which are tailored to support the Trust’s overarching aim of delivering sustainable healthcare. It aims to make staff feel part of a team and a larger community and many actions can also be taken from home or have been adapted to the home setting.
“Actions include using the Warp It redistribution system to rehome unwanted furniture, electrical equipment, and office consumables, and other actions include going paperless, reducing travel, using resources more sustainably, reducing the use of plastic, and even listening to our newly-launched 20 minute green pod webinars.”
As well as staff, volunteers, patients, and hospital service users are also encouraged to get involved. Harriett said: “One of the most popular actions was a recycling poster competition with patients, which proved to be fun, engaging and accessible for everyone involved and lots of teams put on Fairtrade coffee mornings which service users attended.”
Above: Green Impact actions
The Trust has been a member of the Warp It reuse system for over six years, which has delivered financial savings and reduced waste. Harriet said:
“Between April 2020 and February 2021 alone we saved £32,451, which is nearly double the saving achieved in 2020 and equates to seven tonnes of carbon and 18.8 tonnes of waste avoided, so it made compete sense to integrate Warp It into the Green Impact scheme.”
The total Warp It reuse community at the Trust has grown to 870 members, with numbers increasing significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic despite a reduction in the number of people working in offices during this time. This increase has, in part, been driven by an initiative to remove soft furnishing in favour of wipeable materials as a result of the pandemic.
“This furniture was unsuitable for re-use anywhere within the Trust, but perfectly re-useable in other environments and because of this charity donations from the Trust have also increased substantially,” Harriett said, “ since April 2020, over £20,000 worth of office consumables have been donated to charity.”
Both the Warp It and Green Impact initiatives are going a long way to supporting the Trust’s board approved Sustainable Development Management Plan (SDMP) also known as a Green Plan, which outlines projects and activities to improve sustainability performance throughout the Trust.
“The importance of both the Green Impact Scheme and Warp It cannot be overestimated, and we urge all our staff to use the initiatives and to support the fantastic work taking place to continue to make our Trust environmentally sustainable.”
Find out more about the Trust’s sustainability work by contacting the Energy and Environment Department at the Trust on firstname.lastname@example.org and join the conversation on Twitter at #GreenImpact @NottsHealthcare
Find out more about the Green Impact programme.