We are committed to integrating sustainable development into our core business and ensuring our use of resources is efficient.
As a healthcare provider that promotes wellbeing, we recognise that we have a responsibility to maximise our contribution to creating social value, and ensure our use of resources is efficient, maximising the funds available for patient care.
We report our carbon emissions and sustainability activities in our annual sustainability report.
The sustainability report outlines the declaration of the climate emergency in December 2019 and the setting up of a climate emergency response group.
In December 2019, our Trust declared a climate emergency, recognising climate change as one of the biggest threats to public health. By declaring a climate emergency, we:
- publicly acknowledge the climate crisis and its threat to public health
- commit to fast tracking the reduction of our carbon emissions
- pledge collaborative action with our civic partners to deliver carbon reduction in Gloucestershire
Our declaration sends a clear message that our Trust recognises the threat of climate breakdown. It also shows that we are leading the way in healthcare commitments to carbon neutrality, and improving the health of our population.
Our sustainability pledge
As a large organisation, we acknowledge the impact we have on the local economy, society and environment and are committed to continually working to actively integrate sustainable development into our core business.
Recycling and waste
The Trust produces a high volume of waste each year but is taking steps to decrease this. Recycling bins can be found across the whole Trust and enable patients, visitors and staff to recycle:
- plastic bottles
- Tetrapack cartons
We currently recycle about 25% of our non-clinical waste, and we also recycle items like batteries, fluorescent light tubes and garden waste. There is a programme in place to increase this and our sustainability team volunteers help and encourage colleagues to recycle more.
We have taken a number of steps to reduce and better manage our energy consumption:
- installing LED lighting
- installing speed drives for pumps and motors
- improving insulation for steam and heating pipework
- improving the building management system for controlling air conditioning systems
- establishing and installing Combined Heat and Power Plants at both hospital sites.
Sustainable travel includes options like walking, cycling, using the bus and train, or car sharing. We know that there are lots of benefits from using more active, greener forms of travel and that making a few simple changes can help us to:
- get healthier
- save money
- make our streets safer
- improve the air quality in our cities
- contribute to a better, healthier place to live, work and relax.
- support economic growth through sustainable travel
Find out more from local website thinktravel which has route planners and information about transport options in the county.
The 99 Bus Service
We encourage our staff to leave their cars at home, to use public transport, to cycle and to keep active by walking more.
Working in partnership with Pulham's Coaches, we provide a shuttle bus which connects the two hospital sites, stops in Cheltenham town centre, Gloucester city centre and at the Arle Court Park and Ride facility.
Used by many of our staff, it's also available to the public and makes a valuable contribution to reducing the county's carbon emissions. The bus is free to staff travelling to work from the town or city centres and between the hospitals and there is a small charge for those getting on at Arle Court.
Other initiatives to reduce travel
- a new e-travel claims system which enables us to monitor more closely the amount of business travel which is undertaken by staff
- cycle to work schemes with subsidised cycle purchase, secure parking for cycles and motor cycles, and shower and changing facilities
- fleet and lease car review
- car sharing for staff
- rationalisation of deliveries to site
- reducing travel associated with meetings through greater use of conference calls and video links
- e-Learning to reduce travel to internal and external training sessions
- our mobile chemotherapy unit, which takes this important service to our patients to save them making long journeys to receive treatment
- working with our commissioners and partners to explore opportunities for telemedicine initiatives.
Purchasing goods and services
Our sustainable procurement includes elements such as buying food from local producers and ensuring materials come from sustainable sources, for example wood from Forest Stewardship Council certified suppliers. This contributes to our Trust’s responsibilities for environment and sustainability.
Sustainable procurement strategy
Our Trust aims to embed sustainability principles in the procurement process so that they become an integral part of all relevant contracts, at pre-tender, tender and post-contract award stages (including monitoring and evaluation), through to the end of the life of the contract and including any disposal of equipment. Read the strategy.
Other procurement initiatives
- members of our procurement team are actively involved in a number of national sustainable procurement initiatives
- using local services and suppliers where possible
- our central stores and catering hub have meant fewer journeys and deliveries to our sites and fewer food and delivery miles
- waste reduction through minimising packaging and re-using delivery containers
- training procurement staff in whole-life costing approaches
- raising awareness of environmental impact and carbon reduction factors in procurement evaluation, business planning and impact assessment processes.
The sustainability team
In 2015 we established a sustainability team, comprising volunteers from across the Trust. The Board wanted to ensure that volunteers for the team were supported by their managers and that they were able to make a difference in their areas and to our trust as a whole.
We are promoting a culture of innovation in this area so each quarter members of the team are released from their 'day jobs' for a meeting with other champions in order to really be able to make their voices heard.
For more information or to rise sustainability issues, please email the sustainability team.