A fresh approach for sustainable healthcare
05 May 2015
By Hayley Carmichael
Care Without Carbon is a new, unique and award winning approach to achieving sustainable healthcare. Developed by Capita’s sustainable healthcare team in partnership with Sussex Community NHS Trust, Care Without Carbon has been created by the NHS, for the NHS – with high quality patient care at the heart of our approach.
Challenging targets across the NHS
All NHS Trusts need to adapt to become more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. There are challenging targets to be met across all areas of the business; Care Without Carbon’s seven steps provide a blueprint for meeting this challenge and reaping the benefits of implementing more sustainable models of care.
Connecting the business and engaging staff
Care Without Carbon is designed to integrate with the organisational vision and transformation programmes, so that sustainability isn’t an ‘add on’ but instead is embedded within the structure of the organisation. The focus shifts away from asking busy people to do more, but instead asks them to do things differently.
A key element to Care Without Carbon is our behavioural change campaign, Dare to Care.
Paula Head, chief executive at SCT, said: “As a responsible NHS trust, we want to encourage our dedicated staff to help us deliver healthcare in a greener and more environmentally responsible way.
“Staff are being asked to sign up to a challenge to help reduce waste and carbon emissions. This could be anything from printing double sided, switching off lights or taking the bus to work instead of driving.
“By taking part in the Dare to Care challenge our staff can have some fun and work in a way that’s better for them, our patients, our community and the environment.
Reap the benefits
Any NHS organisation can benefit from adopting the Care Without Carbon programme – rewards reach across finance and energy performance, to staff wellbeing and enhanced patient care. Care Without Carbon’s co-ordinated approach to sustainability will:
- Improve employee health and wellbeing – reducing stress and sickness absence.
- Enable better patient care during floods, heat waves and other extreme weather events, which we are seeing more of due to climate change.
- Boost cost savings across operational areas – through smarter travel, waste and energy solutions.
- Reduce your carbon footprint in line with legal requirements.
- Enhance your reputation by setting the standard for sustainable healthcare.
The proof’s in the pudding
We’re very proud that Care Without Carbon has won several awards already – three at the 2015 NHS Sustainability Awards in the categories of Human Resources, Clinical and Behaviour Change.
However awards don’t come without results – and we are very proud of the difference that Care Without Carbon is already making. Working with Sussex Community NHS Trust we’ve cut carbon emissions by 18% and counting – working towards an ambitious carbon neutral goal. Business mileage has dropped by 500,000 miles, and fleet emissions have gone down by 17%. We achieved zero non healthcare waste going to landfill, with 68% non-healthcare waste recycled. The cumulative cost savings are expected to reach £4.75m.
In addition, our work with East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has already identified over £500,000 cost savings in one year and we’ve set in place a sustainable development management plan to reduce carbon emissions by 34% by 2020. Mark Paice, Assistant Commercial Director Estates said, “The Care Without Carbon approach has provided a simple route map that staff across the Trust can understand and it’s already proving very effective – over half a million pounds in savings identified for this year.”
Find out more
You can discover more about Care Without Carbon and the Dare to Care campaign by visiting our website www.carewithoutcarbon.org. Or you can email email@example.com and we’d be happy to get in touch with you to share more about our work.