Hospital trust powers ahead in drive to cut carbon emissions

NHS Sustainability DayStaff at Southampton’s teaching hospitals are powering ahead with their drive to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint – by producing homemade electricity in a new energy unit.

A new two megawatt combined heat and power (CHP) generator installed at Southampton General Hospital will reduce carbon emissions by 4,000 tonnes and save £400,000 a year.

The NHS is responsible for 3% of all CO2 emissions in England – with 58,500 tonnes produced by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust every year – but has pledged to reduce the figure by 80% by 2050.

In addition to generating power on site and using waste energy to increase heat from existing boilers, the unit will allow the Trust to sell excess electricity back to the supply company.

The development is one of many green initiatives members of the public will be given a chance to find out more about at an action-packed event to mark NHS Sustainability Day on Thursday (27 March). 

Among the organisations on hand to highlight recent innovations will be Dalkia, the company behind the Trust’s CHP generator, Southern Water and Kier Construction, as well as mechanical engineers Henderson Green and the Sustainable Distribution Centre run by Meachers Global Logistics.

There will also be a ‘bike village’ dedicated to raising awareness of the cycle to work scheme and Southampton City Council’s My Journey workplace travel project, which is designed to improve wellbeing and reduce congestion in the city by promoting alternative travel.

They will be joined by Rideride’s bike doctor, who will provide free cycle servicing, while Hargroves Cycles and Freego Electric Bikes will offer advice on the latest models and equipment.

Dr Tom Pierce, a consultant anaesthetist, will host a stand promoting respiratory inhaler recycling as part of GlaxoSmithKline’s Complete the Cycle scheme and highlight his personal drive to improve sustainability in clinical areas of the organisation.

His work has led to the introduction of a programme to wash and recycle single-use steel theatre instruments which previously cost £628 per tonne to dispose of. This process now earns the Trust £100 per tonne and saves 2,500kg of CO2.

Sarah Jones, event coordinator and an assistant project manager at UHS, said: “We hope this event gives our patients, staff, visitors and members of the public a chance to see the great work going on behind the scenes across our hospitals to reduce our impact on the environment.

“We have a really wide range of exhibitions and stands, as well as excellent individuals and experts, lined up for people to come and see, so we would urge anyone who is interested to drop by and take a look around.”

The NHS Sustainability Day event at Southampton General Hospital takes place on Thursday (27 March) from 10am to 4pm, with a marquee and stands situated in the grounds around the main entrance.

Posted on Monday 24 March 2014

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