SWFT Green Plan
Climate change is both a health and environmental crisis, with wide-ranging impacts on patient’s health and care. In the UK, air pollution alone is responsible for 1 in 20 deaths¹, and climate change is also increasing the risk of vector-borne illness, zoonoses such as Covid-19 and heat-related illness, amongst others².
The NHS is responsible for 4% of UK emissions and has a target to reach Net Zero by 2040³. SWFT’s three-year Green Plan breaks down our current emissions and targets, to reduce our carbon footprint between 2022-2025, whilst continuing to provide high-quality care. These targets are broken down across nine Areas of Focus:
- Workforce and Systems Leadership
- Sustainable Models of Care
- Digital Transformation
- Travel and Transport
- Estates and Facilities
- Supply Chain and Procurement
- Food and Nutrition
To meet our Net Zero target we’ve already made changes to our sites, including investing in spend-to-save schemes and collaborating with local partners. Changes include:
- Replacing over 70% of lighting with low-emission LEDs, with the aim of 100% coverage by the end of 2024
- Investing in renewable energy, including solar panels at Warwick and Leamington hospitals
- Reducing food waste by digitising patient ordering, and introducing food waste bins
- Introducing Cycle to Work and Car Share schemes to encourage active and lower-emission travel
- Developing new green spaces to promote biodiversity and wellbeing amongst staff and patients. We’ve also created a Warwick Hospital green spaces map to highlight these areas to staff, patients and visitors.
We run quarterly sessions for our Green Champion (Trust colleagues interested in sustainability). Previous meetings have covered topics such as waste and energy, with guest speakers from local charities. Following each meeting, we ask colleagues to complete an activity which helps us meet one of our Green Plan targets.
They have also carried out audits in their areas of work which have helped identify hotspots, and allowed us to reduce energy consumption, waste and increase recycling.
Many of our Champions have carried out their own sustainability initiatives in their areas.
- Colleagues from Pharmacy have introduced several digitisation processes - increasing efficiency and decreasing paper consumption.
- Radiology have introduced a line in their out-patient letters encouraging patients to bring their own bags to procedures - reducing the department’s plastic bag consumption.
- The Family Nurse Partnership team have moved away from printed leaflets towards sharing digital resources with their patients in the community - reducing paper waste, increasing personalisation of care and engagement through links and videos.
In 2023, the Sustainability Team launched a newsletter, with more examples of initiatives Trust colleagues have implemented to be more sustainable. If you are a member of staff the team would love to hear from you if you’ve had an idea for your area eg replacing single-use items with reusable alternatives, supporting sustainable travel etc. Please email these to Sustainability.Team@swft.nhs.uk.