Tavistock and Portman NHS shares ‘Green Plan’ for trust sustainability

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which is based in London, has released its first ‘Green Plan’, sharing its goals and ideas around sustainability.

Setting out environmental aims, ambitions and objectives over the next five years, from 2021-2026, the publication provides a manifesto of intended actions and timelines.

Setting out its full roadmap, the trust states that it “acknowledges that the prevailing scientific evidence demands urgent action and significant change in order to avoid environmental disaster” and that it is “committed” to making the necessary changes.

As a mental health trust, Tavistock and Portman points out that it wants to lead in sustainable healthcare and education, but that it is also concerned with the emotional wellbeing of its community.

To tackle these issues, it says, it intends to “create ways of thinking about these frightening realities, whilst offering support and containment to those who are suffering as a result of climate change,” and hopes that “with positive action,” it can play its part in “correcting the environmental course.”

Recognising the “detrimental” impact the trust’s own services can have on the environment, Tavistock and Portman highlights that it wants to minimise its impact, limit its consumption and “give back” to the natural world.

In addition, the organisation says it is “committed to becoming a carbon neutral, and ultimately, carbon negative organisation which actively removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, rather than adding it,” and plans to do this through a three-step plan. This will involve: measuring its carbon footprint, understand its impact and identifying which changes make the biggest difference; reducing emission; offsetting any emissions which cannot be reduced, through carbon removal projects.

Other initiatives mentioned throughout the publication include assessing equipment to inform a new decarbonisation plan based on heat pump technology and high efficiency electric boilers, switching to renewable electricity and low carbon technologies, utilising new tools to measure emissions, monitoring patient and visitor travel, and setting targets in a number of areas.

Described as a “new, living plan” that will be updated, the strategy links up the impact of climate change with public health implications, highlighting issues such as heat-stress, reduced productivity, poorer air quality and flooding.

The document breaks the emissions challenge down into bitesize pieces, illustrating the different ‘scopes’ and what makes up the the NHS Carbon Footprint and Footprint Plus. This includes a combination of direct and indirect emissions, such as those from the use of fossil fuels, facilities, anaesthetics, vehicles and electricity, through to NHS related travel, waste, water use, catering and food, medicines and medical devices, services, construction and manufacturing, and IT.

The plan then sets out ways to measure impacts in key areas such as asset management and utilities, travel and logistics, adaptation to climate change, biodiversity, sustainable care models, use of resources, greenhouse gases, and more.

To read the full 40-page Green Plan and its targets in full, click here.