NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has published a three-year Green Plan focusing on decarbonising the NHS estate.
This plan is part of the organisation’s ‘Delivering a Greener NHS’ programme, which aims to achieve NHS England’s ambition for a net zero carbon NHS by 2040.
The drive follows initial efforts to reduce the NHS’s impact on the environment, with 99% of NHSPS waste now diverted from landfill.
The works on decarbonising estates will include carrying out feasibility studies for end-of-life gas or oil-fired heating systems, as well as establishing a calculation tool with carbon as the main metric to measure cost savings, allowing regional teams to access capital finance for energy and environment projects in their regions. This means that many more projects can run simultaneously across the estate than ever before.
NHSPS is the estate manager for more than 3,000 NHS properties, caring for six million patients daily. Additionally, all four UK health services have recently pledged to become net zero by 2050 through the COP26 Health Programme, aligning with the government’s ambition set out in its Build Back Greener strategy.
This Green Plan is part of NHSPS’s wider ‘Delivering a Greener NHS programme’, in support of NHS England’s Greener NHS campaign.
NHSPS will be opening its new Devizes Health Centre in Wiltshire to patients this summer. It is one of the first ‘Net Zero’ health facilities across England and will use green technology, such as heat pumps and solar panels to generate electricity and heat to serve the building, therefore reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
Since 2019, NHSPS has already made great strides in reducing its environmental footprint. It has decreased its carbon footprint by 30% and saved the NHS £23 million in associated costs – money that is reinvested back into the NHS. The organisation has also, among other activities, shifted to 100% renewable electricity and established a strategy to minimise waste to landfill, with more than 99% now being diverted from landfill.
Cameron Hawkins, head of energy and environment for NHSPS, said: “The relationship between our health and our environment are inherently linked. It is vital that sustainability values are embedded in everything the NHS does, so that together we can improve the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve.
“We have already made tremendous progress in decarbonising the NHS estate, and this bold, ambitious Green Plan will build on those successes and take our Greener NHS ambition to the next level. As owners of a large part of the NHS estate, we are in the unique position where we can make a substantial contribution to NHS England’s 2040 net zero targets.”