Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was this week officially presented with The Planet Mark™ Certificate in recognition of its commitment to year-on-year progress in sustainability.
The award means Homerton University Hospital is the first NHS Trust to achieve The Planet Mark™ – and the first hospital in the world to be accredited by the sustainability programme.
Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is based in Hackney and provides general health services within both hospital and community environments. The hospital has almost 500 beds spread across 11 wards, a nine-bed intensive care unit and maternity, paediatric and neonatal wards.
Homerton University Hospital has been working with energy and sustainability consultancy Low Carbon Europe (LCE), an Associate Partner of The Planet Mark™, since 2013 to manage its environmental impacts. However, The Planet Mark™ award marks the first time the NHS Trust has measured and reported its carbon footprint.
The NHS Trust was officially presented with The Planet Mark™ Certificate at its Education Centre (see pic). The event also included an opportunity for employees of Homerton University Hospital to find out about the Trusts’ achievements and engage with the sustainability programme going forward.
Homerton director of Estates and Facilities Chris Forster said: “The Trust is very pleased to receive The Planet Mark™ accreditation as a result of the hard work of the Trusts team and continuous improvement that this has delivered. Working with our partners Low Carbon Europe, and with the full support of our Trust Board, we have been developing our sustainable management plan and action plan to reduce emissions in the hospital and our community units. We have just appointed a new environment and sustainability manager to take this work forward as we seek other new initiatives.”
Analysis of Homerton University Hospital’s environmental impacts show the relative carbon footprint in year ending March 2017 was 1.7 tCO2e per employee and the total carbon footprint was 5,885 tCO2e. The report included emissions from energy use in the building (natural gas and purchased electricity), water and fleet. Electricity emissions accounted for 72.6% of total emissions followed by natural gas, which accounted for 25.7%.
Achieving The Planet Mark™ Certification means Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has shown good practice in sustainability including:
- measuring its carbon emissions from electricity gas, water and fleet
- setting a 5% carbon reduction target for its 2017-18 reporting period
- investing in the Eden Project to support education on climate change
- storing 260 tCO2e by protecting one acre of endangered rainforest through the charity Cool Earth
- committing to engage employees and suppliers to drive improvements.
As an Associate Partner of The Planet Mark™ programme, LCE was responsible for measuring Homerton Hospital’s carbon footprint and delivering The Planet Mark™ carbon footprint report.
Commenting on the achievement, LCE’s managing director Darren Jones, said: “We are very proud to have supported the Trust over recent years to achieve this prestigious award, and are very excited to build on the excellent work undertaken to date, to help the Trust meet its carbon reduction commitments, going forward.”
LCE said going forward it would continue to work with the Trust to support embedding sustainability throughout the organisation and help ensure carbon reductions are made in order to meet Climate Change Act 2008 targets and retain The Planet Mark™ Certificate year-on-year.
Throughout the next year, LCE and the Trust will be focussing on completing an LED upgrade programme, undertaking a review of CHP efficiency, theatre optimisation and initiating progression of the sustainable development plan and staff engagement programmes, to achieve carbon reductions.
Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark™, said: “Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust is the first hospital to achieve The Planet Mark™. They’ve made outstanding progress and are clearly excited about the future and what they can do next. The Trust epitomises how you can make positive contributions to society and the environment and enjoy the process. We’re delighted to have them onboard.”
The Planet Mark™ was founded in 2013 with the iconic Eden Project in Cornwall, UK, and is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions.
Since it launched, The Planet Mark™ has certified over 100 organisations. In 2016, it helped holders of The Planet Mark™ cut their average carbon emissions by 10% per employee.
Holders of The Planet Mark™ have a minimum requirement to reduce their carbon emissions by 2.5% per year to retain the award.