We have embarked on a bold mission to be at the forefront of delivering sustainable healthcare, not just for today’s patients but tomorrow’s too, by actively protecting the environment we depend on.
The overall aims of the sustainability strategy are to:
- be recognised as a leading NHS acute Trust for sustainability locally, regionally and nationally
- make sustainability an explicit aim in our Trust’s core objectives, embed sustainability into service planning, contractual agreements and business processes
- empower all staff to embed sustainability into their day to day work through the provision of training, facilities and resource
- work with our partners, suppliers and other key stakeholders to drive shared sustainability objectives
- measure, manage and report on the progress we make against our targets
Strategic themes and areas
We will focus our environmental sustainability work in areas where we believe we can make the biggest difference.
We take responsibility for the emissions associated with our own operations, as well as emissions from the products and services we buy. We are committed to showing clear progress towards carbon neutrality across our entire carbon footprint by reducing our emissions and investing in carbon removal solutions.
Our 10-year journey towards 'Carbon zero' will focus on three areas.
- Building emissions: embed technologies and operational efficiency into clinical and non-clinical practices throughout our estate so we deliver a 30% reduction in our emissions from energy and anaesthetic gases compared to 2018-19 levels
- Transport emissions: reach net zero carbon emissions from our own vehicles, and see significant reductions in emissions from staff and patient travel
- Indirect emissions: accurately measure our indirect carbon emissions in our upstream and downstream activities, our 'goods in and goods out', identify hotspots including procurement, water and waste, and take targeted action to reduce these emissions
Connecting with nature
We believe nature matters and we will proactively look after our natural environment for people to enjoy and for the services it provides, including our food. We will develop estates that are buzzing with life and learn from nature as we adapt to protect our people and our buildings from the effects of climate change.
Our 10-year journey 'Connecting with nature' will focus on three areas.
- Greenspace and biodiversity: maximise the quality and benefits of our greenspace and reduce biodiversity loss by protecting and enhancing our natural assets so our grounds exceed planning requirements for safe, clean, accessible and biodiverse outdoor space.
- Food: reduce the environmental impacts of our hospital meals and the food provided by retailers across our sites by optimising our operations, cutting food waste down by a third and increasing environmentally-friendly food choices
- Adapting to change: to make sure our Trust invests in adaptation measures inspired by nature, so we can improve local air quality and protect our estate and our people from the impacts of climate change
Cycle of resources
We believe in conserving Earth's resources when developing our estate, operating our facilities and in clinical practice, so we will consider lifecycle costs, drive out waste and close the loop by moving away from a disposable culture to one that embraces the principles of a circular economy.
Our 10-year 'Cycle of resources' journey will focus on three areas.
- Capital projects: reduce the environmental impact of building works during design, refurbishment, construction, operation and decommissioning stages, and consider whole-life costs of materials and products in our construction and refurbishment specifications
- Reduce single-use: move away from a buy-use-dispose culture to a culture that cares about the long-term impact of the consumables it buys by choosing reusable alternatives whenever available and whenever financially feasible to make the switch, and showing a 40% reduction in the purchase of non-essential single use items compared to 2018-19 levels
- Circular economy: adopt innovative ways of driving out waste and delivering year on year savings in cost and tonnage of waste produced by standardising what we buy and use, repairing and sharing equipment, and finding waste minimisation solutions with our suppliers and contractors to reach a recycling rate of 70%.
Find out more
For more information, please download the Trust's sustainability strategy (PDF 2Mb).
Our sustainability strategy – watch video
Our sustainability strategy – video transcript
At Guy's and St Thomas' we've long been aware of the close link between nature and health and wellbeing.
In recent years we've built on that knowledge and now our new sustainability strategy sets out a clear path for us to follow until 2031.
We want to reduce offset emissions from buildings and transport and from what we buy and what we throw away to help us make progress towards becoming carbon neutral.
We'll look after our environment by creating grounds that are buzzing with life, addressing the impact our food has on the planet, and developing estates that can cope with the effect of climate change and will conserve resources when refurbishing a building, and move away from disposable culture to develop a circular economy in all our activities.
We have made a great start but we know it's not going to be easy.
That's why we're going to be working with everyone at the Trust, including patients, staff, senior leaders and our community to get the help we need to put our mission into practice.
Please visit our website to find out more.
www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk. Search sustainability.