Reducing our impact on the environment

About us

More in this section

Recycling at our hospitalsWhat we are doing

Led by its award-winning sustainability strategy, Guy’s and St Thomas’ has made significant progress along its firmly established journey to deliver the most sustainable healthcare in the UK.


Fit for the Future

Fit for the Future is the Trust’s key cross-organisational programme aimed at improving safety, quality and efficiency.

Fit for the Future

Our sustainability programme contributes significantly to this through reducing fixed costs, such as energy, water and waste, as well as through designing efficiency and sustainability into procurement of goods and services.

In 2014/15, the sustainability programme saved the Trust over £3.5 million in fixed costs.

  • Our campaigns

    Energy

    Our combined heat and power (CHP) engines generate electricity and heat at both hospitals. Installed in 2009, each year the units produce enough electricity to meet half of our energy needs, reduce the carbon dioxide emissions we produce by over 11,000 tonnes (the equivalent of the City of Liverpool’s carbon output for a week) and save us nearly £2 million in energy costs.

    Throughout 2015 and 2016, the Trust will invest a further £10 million in energy efficiency through an energy saving partnership with British Gas. The programme will save a minimum of 8,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually, a reduction of 11% against the Trust’s 10% target by 2015/16.

    By achieving a guaranteed annual saving of £1.3 million in energy costs, we will seek to deliver long-term energy efficiency and enhance patient safety, comfort and wellbeing. 

    To further support this, we have over 130 local staff environment representatives (LERs). LERs know the departments in which they operate better than anyone else, enabling them to identify opportunities for achieving sustainability targets promptly and effectively. This ranges from making suggestions about more sustainable ways of working, to reminding colleagues to switch equipment off when it's not in use.

    Transport and air quality

    Through a combination of vehicle anti-idling campaigns and driver training, improving sustainable travel options and working with key local authorities we are actively committed to reducing emissions and particulate matter, limiting and mitigating exposure to poor air quality and ensuring our staff can stay fit and active.

    For more information about travelling to our hospitals and community locations see Getting here.

    Water

    Our innovative partnership with water management experts ADSM and charity WaterAid enables the Trust to reduce costs, renew infrastructure and provide the Trust with better control over our consumption, while simultaneously facilitating clean water and sanitation projects in developing countries.

    Last year the 20% water saving in our own operations transformed the lives of nearly 5000 people in rural Nepal. Read our 2015 sustainable water report (PDF 920Kb).

    Waste

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ has an award winning partnership with our waste contractor Bywaters, and the Trust is a leading light in embedding waste elimination and minimisation.

    Guy’s and St Thomas’ is the first NHS Trust in the UK to introduce a weigh-bridge at our sites to accurately measure waste generated through our services. A departmental tagging system has also been introduced so departments can track their waste generation and recycling rates. This also allows the waste team to ensure that any areas of non-compliance can be quickly addressed. 

    Recent success includes:

    • zero waste to landfill 
    • 30% saving in waste costs
    • generating power from all our residual waste for 150,000 London homes
    • 80% reduction in clinical waste 
    • recycling more than 60 tonnes of waste each month
    • generating compost from food waste 
    • producing biofuel used in local generation and London black cabs from used cooking oil 
    • repairing and re-using furniture, which saves over £150,000 each year
    • donating redundant hospital equipment to hospitals in need.

    Procurement

    We are working with procurement, NHS Supply Chain, the British Medical Association (BMA) and students from King’s College London to take action against child labour and unethical practices in the supply chain, and establish fairer and sustainable standards for procurement of medical instruments. 

Did you know?

Each year, our combined heat and power machines reduce the CO2 emissions we produce by over 11,000 tonnes.

Find out more

For more information about our work to reduce our impact on the environment, contact Alexandra Hammond