Homerton Hospital becomes first in country to receive ‘Planet Mark’ sustainability award

Homerton University Hospital has received a prestigious award for sustainability. Pic: Homerton University Hospital

Homerton University Hospital has become the first in the country to be accredited with a ‘Planet Mark’ sustainability certificate in recognition of its ongoing environmental commitment.

The hospital was given the prestigious award, which is also backed by the Eden Project to recognise its commitment to year-on-year progress in carbon footprint reduction.

Holders of the certificate have a minimum requirement to reduce their carbon emissions by 2.5 per cent every year.  The hospital met these requirements by March 2017, reporting a carbon footprint of 1.7 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per employee, totalling in 5,885 tCO2e overall.

The hospital’s assessment also included emissions from energy use in the building, with electricity accounting for nearly three quarters and natural gas a quarter of the total emissions.

Homerton Director of Estates and Facilities, Chris Forster, said: “We have been developing our sustainable management plan and action plan to reduce emissions in the hospital and our community units. We have just appointed a new environment and sustainability manager to take this work forward as we seek other new initiatives.”

Forster added: “The Trust is very pleased to receive the accreditation as a result of the Trust’s team and continuous improvements that this has delivered.”

The hospital has been working with Planet Mark partner Low Carbon Europe (LCE) since 2013 to manage its environmental impacts.

Commenting on the achievement, LCE’s Managing Director Darren Jones said that going forward it would help to embed sustainability throughout the NHS Trust and ensure carbon reductions are made in order to meet the targets set out in the Climate Change Act 2008 and retain the Planet Mark certificate.

LCE and the Trust will be focusing on setting a five per cent carbon reduction target for its 2017-2018 reporting period, through staff engagement programmes and the review of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) efficiency. Homerton has further invested in the Eden Project to support education on climate change.

Steve Malkin, co-founder of The Planet Mark, said: “The Trust epitomises how you can make positive contributions to society and the environment and enjoy the process. They’ve made outstanding progress and we are delighted to recognise Homerton as the first hospital to receive our accreditation.

“They should be congratulated for their achievement in recent years to reduce its carbon footprint.”

Since its launch, the Planet Mark has certified over 100 organisations and in 2016 it helped its holders cut their average carbon emissions by 10 per cent per employee.

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