We're committed to delivering sustainable healthcare, not just for today's patients but tomorrow’s too, by actively protecting the environment we all depend on and our planet.

At the Trust, we’re focusing on 3 strategic themes where we can, with your help, make the biggest difference. 

Green Travel Plan

In August 2023, we published our Green Travel Plan – a first for the Trust which sets us on a pathway to reduce our carbon emissions. The plan also aligns with our sustainability strategy 2021 to 2031, and delivering a net zero NHS.

Our plan includes our 7 key principles, key targets for each mode of travel, and it is split into sections including a comprehensive action plan. Some short term goals include carrying out an accessibility audit of all our hospital sites and producing a report recommending accessibility improvements for people walking and using mobility aids by 2024.

(PDF 6.28MB)

Clean Air Plan

In June 2023, Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital Foundation Trusts are jointly publishing our first ever Clean Air Plan. Our plan spans:

  • 2 trusts
  • 5 London boroughs
  • 37,000 staff
  • 4 million annual patient contacts

It defines the ways in which we will address air pollution, raise awareness of the issue and ultimately improve the health of our patients, staff and local communities.

We have identified 5 focus areas and 27 priority actions for 2023/24 that will help us reduce our own contribution to air pollution and raise awareness of the issue amongst our staff, patients and local communities.

Clean Air Plan video

Watch our Clean Air Plan video to find out what we are doing to tackle air pollution and how you can get involved

Lorcan Woods: Hello, my name is Lorcan Woods. I'm the Chief Financial Officer here at King's College Hospital, I’m standing underneath our clear air monitoring.

Gordon Bain: Hi, I'm Gordon Bain, Essentia Executive Director of Quality Improvement at Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

I'm proud to work closely with the Sustainability team here at the Trust, with lead responsibility for delivering our ambitious sustainability agenda.

I'm delighted that we've published our first ever joint Clean Air Plan with King's College Hospital Trust.

Lorcan: There are 5 focus areas and 27 priority actions reflecting the importance of this.

Gordon: The Clean Air Plan spans 2 trusts, 5 London boroughs, over 39,000 staff and 4 million annual patient contacts.

Personally, I believe that everyone should have equitable access to clean air is absolute fundamental to leading a healthy, happy life.

I also care about clean air for our patients, visitors, staff, the wider community and our loved ones.

Lorcan: And we have a clear determination to help reduce the amount of air pollution and therefore to improve both the health and the health inequality of the people of south east London.

Gordon: We know as a health care provider that pollution can have a major long term detrimental effect on people's health.

Lorcan: So as a staff member, as one of the colleagues, as one of our Team Kings, I would like you to get involved in our Clean Air Action Group.

But you can also get involved in a wide range of other sustainability actions, including through medical gases, for example, or just generally conserving our use of energy around the Trust.

Gordon: If you are a member of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ family join the Clean Air Staff Network and read the plan on GTi - search for Sustainability.

Finally, why not pledge to reduce your own contribution to air pollution by leaving your car at home or avoid using a wood burner at home.

Thank you.

Our 3 strategic themes

Our environmental sustainability work is focused on 3 areas where we believe we can make the biggest difference:

We're committed to making clear progress towards carbon neutrality across all own operations, as well as emissions from the products and services we buy.

We're focused on:

  • building emissions – using technology and operational efficiency to cut our emissions from energy and anaesthetic gases by 30% (compared to 2018-19 levels)
  • transport emissions – reaching net zero carbon emissions from our own vehicles, and seeing significant reductions in emissions from staff and patient travel
  • indirect emissions – accurately measuring indirect carbon emissions in the products and services we buy, identify hotspots including procurement, water and waste, and taking targeted action to reduce these emissions

Nature matters to us all. We are developing our buildings and open spaces with nature in mind.

We're focused on:

  • greenspace and biodiversity – maximising the quality and benefits of our greenspace and enhancing our natural assets so our grounds are safe, clean, accessible and buzzing with biodiversity
  • food – reducing the environmental impacts of our hospital meals and the food provided by retailers on our sites
  • adapting to change – investing to improve local air quality and protect our estate and our people from the impacts of climate change

To conserve resources, we consider lifecycle costs and reduce waste – moving from a disposable culture to one that embraces the principles of a circular economy.

We're focused on:

  • capital projects – on a whole-life, all materials, basis, reducing the environmental impact of building works
  • reducing single-use – choosing reusable alternatives to single use whenever possible, aiming for a 40% reduction in non-essential single use items (compared to 2018-19 levels)
  • circular economy – aiming for a recycling rate of 70% by driving out waste, making savings, standardising what we buy and use, repairing and sharing equipment, and working with our suppliers and contractors

Last updated: September 2023

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