The healthcare sector is a major contributor to climate change. The WHO (World Health Organization) has described climate change as ‘the biggest threat to global health in the 21st century’. So how can the healthcare sector cut their emissions and reduce their carbon footprint?
How does healthcare contribute to climate change?
New research has found that NHS England produced 5.4% of the UK’s greenhouse gases. This is very concerning as the IPPC ( Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) stated that we have just 12 years to limit the most devastating effects of global warming. On a global level, healthcare generates so much CO2 that if it were a country, it would be the world’s fifth-biggest polluter, creating a staggering 4.4% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
A growing number of NHS trusts are stepping up and taking action to help tackle climate change.
One of Each Person’s client’s, Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital, based in Surrey has introduced a Commitment to Sustainable Development Plan in which they aim to deliver care sustainably whilst minimising impact on the environment. The plan sets out in detail how it will improve its environmental performance by reducing carbon footprint whilst also saving money through energy efficiency, waste reduction and careful use of resources.
“It is a priority for the Trust and the NHS nationally to reduce its carbon footprint and to promote healthier lifestyles that are better for the environment. Climate change is well known to be an environmental issue; to me and many others, it’s as much a “human issue” as it impacts on the issues of wellbeing and social and economic stability. We encourage our staff, patients and visitors to join in helping to make our pledge a reality.”
Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital is making significant progress in reducing the negative impact on the environment. Reduction of clinical waste and the introduction of recyclable latex are just some of the ways the trust is becoming more sustainable. Since 2008 they have achieved an estimated 14% reduction in their carbon footprint, this is an extremely positive step in tackling climate change.
Ashford and St. Peter’s joined us in 2018 after pledging to help save their employee’s money whilst saving the environment.
Another one of our partners leading healthcare provider Bupa is also committed to helping tackle climate change. Bupa plays an active role in promoting environmental practices, In 2018 Bupa reduced their carbon emissions by over 3.4%. By 2019 67% of their global electricity consumption was sourced from certified renewable sources. Bupa is working closely to manage its environmental impact helping to reduce climate change and carbon footprint.
“At Bupa, we’re committed to supporting a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery effort. We are continuing to focus on playing our part to respond to the impacts of climate change and making a positive contribution to the health of the wider community.”
Chief People Officer
Nigel Sullivan, Chief People Officer at Bupa recently hosted a virtual panel with corporate responsibility and sustainability leaders from across Bupa. The panel discusses different ways in which we can protect our planet and tackle climate change as we recover from the environmental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can listen to the podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/bupa/climate-change-and-health-in-a-post-covid-19-world-bupa/s-LfDJfsAhEDv
Here at Each Person we know how important it is to look after the environment and help fight climate change, small actions can make a big difference. Eco-points is a simple vehicle that can make a big difference to a complex problem. In addition to receiving extra savings off the lowest online prices, members can give some of this extra saving to fund Eco-projects. You will still save money whilst saving the planet, Epoints can be gifted to Eco-projects to tackle climate change head-on.
To reflect our commitment to this vital initiative, we’re also donating 5% of our profits to the scheme. Eco-points is a simple and effective way to make a difference in reducing our carbon footprint and helping tackle climate change all whilst providing perks at work for employees.
If just 5% of the NHS salary bill went via Eco-points to fund eco-projects then 2.38 billion trees would be planted which equates to more trees than are currently in the whole of the UK.
“We believe with enough people taking small actions that big things can happen. Eco-points is a simple and powerful way for our members to make a difference in the fight for a cleaner, greener and lower carbon future. ”
We’re proud that Each Person is the only employee reward scheme that is entirely aligned to fighting climate change by planting trees.