Sustainability at County Durham and Darlington
The Trust’s three year Green Plan was launched in April 2021, identifying eight key areas - including estates & facilities, medicines & clinical care and travel & transport - each with a senior manager lead.
This green agenda is at the heart of all activity & has even been embedded into the contracts of all new employees. An optional e-learning module, ‘Building a Net Zero NHS’ has been undertaken by over 80% of staff – despite only being introduced in Summer 2021. Staff have also launched a Green Champions Facebook page, sharing tips, activity & learning. A ‘Switch it off’ Campaign encourages a reduction in wasted energy. This year’s staff awards had a Green category for the first time. All of this, plus activity such as increased bike storage facilities could be classed as ‘small stuff’, however, the Trust has also driven forward bigger projects such as significant reduction in anaesthetic gases, replacing its fleet vehicles with electric, installation of charging points and waste reduction.
Menus for staff and patients have meat-free days and there is very little single use plastic in non-clinical situations An upgraded energy centre has seen inefficient boilers with modern ones which use low sulphur light fuel oil. As staff become more engaged, enthused and creative, the Trust’s Green agenda gains both momentum, ambition and, perhaps most important of all, urgency.