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UHS renews sustainability agenda by hosting live virtual event to mark Earth Day

Furthering the sustainability agenda at University Hospital Southampton, was the aim of a virtual event hosted to co-incide with Earth Day 2021.

Staff, Trust members and external partners were invited to join a webinar for a series of talks on the environmental challenges facing the healthcare industry and how together we can make positive changes.

We were delighted to welcome guest speakers Professor Sir Stephen Holgate, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and UK Government Clean Air Champion, who spoke about how air pollution affects people throughout their lifetime, and Dr Debbie Chase, Director of Public Health, Southampton City Council, who focused on the Southampton Green City Plan.

With introductions to each session from David French, interim chief executive officer, and Paul Grundy, interim chief medical officer; a wide range of our colleagues also contributed, including Jack Bradley, foundation doctor; Thomas Daniels, respiratory consultant; David Jones, director of estates, facilities and capital development and Dr Sophie Lentzos, anaesthetic trainee.

The event concluded with an interactive question and answer session, when the panel discussed issues such as the potential for regular meat-free menu days at our staff restaurant, next steps for moving away from gaseous anaesthetics, and how small efforts to protect the environment can have a big combined impact.

The webinar was hosted by Jason Light, our new head of sustainability and energy. He said: “I was honoured to take part in this event alongside so many experts. The presentations were very informative and insightful questions from our audience led to a really engaging discussion.

“As the public sector grouping with the highest level of carbon emission, the NHS has a responsibility to respond to this crisis, which is why we are committed to delivering a world-class sustainable healthcare system. Today’s event is just the start of our renewed sustainability agenda.”