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Hackney hospital cuts emissions by more than 15 per cent in two years

PUBLISHED: 09:31 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:40 24 October 2019

Staff and patients at the Homerton Hospital have been encouraged to use public transport. Picture: Homerton Hospitals NHSFT

Staff and patients at the Homerton Hospital have been encouraged to use public transport. Picture: Homerton Hospitals NHSFT

Archant

A raft of green measures brought in at the Homerton Hospital have seen its operator scoop a national award.

The Homerton Hospital cut its carbon footprint by almost 10 per cent in a year. Picture: ArchantThe Homerton Hospital cut its carbon footprint by almost 10 per cent in a year. Picture: Archant

In 2017 after publishing its first sustainability action plan, the Homerton became the first NHS trust in the country to achieve The Planet Mark: a national certificate recognising its efforts to cut emissions by at least five per cent a year.

On Thursday, October 17 at The Planet Mark's first annual awards ceremony at Sadler's Wells Theatre, the trust also won an award for data quality and collection.

A spokesman said the trust was "dedicated to become a leader" in sustainable practice, adding: "Since achieving The Planet Mark certification, the trust has worked incredibly hard to improve accuracy of energy, waste and transport data.

"Automatic meter readers have been implemented wherever possible, the trust works to record all information on waste and now all fleet vehicles and bikes need to be booked via a centralised contact, which helps recording travel data."

Green initiatives at the Homerton. Picture: Homerton Hospitals NHSFTGreen initiatives at the Homerton. Picture: Homerton Hospitals NHSFT

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In 2018/19 total CO2 emissions across the trust were 6,565 cubic tonnes: a reduction of 7.3 per cent on the previous year.

In 2017/18 it had managed to cut its emissions by 9.6 per cent and after bringing in a new parking policy in April 2018, also cut travel emissions by 16.7 per cent.

LED lighting is being rolled out across the Homerton estate and is due to be finished this month in the hope of reducing electricity usage, which came to 10,807,633 kilowatt hours in 2018/19.

The organisation has also pledged to ban plastic straws and stirrers by 2020, and dispense with plastic cutlery, plates and single-use cups by 2021.

The NHS in England accounts for 25 per cent of public sector CO2 emissions and acute trusts have scrambled to reduce their carbon footprint in recent years.

A report published this month by Health Care Without Harm, an international campaign, found the NHS is also responsible for 5.4 per cent of the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions: not much lower than aviation and agriculture, which accounted for 6.5 per cent each.

Co-author Kristian Steele said: "As we work to deliver high standards of quality healthcare, we must also address the environmental burden associated with this. The sector must strive to do no harm by working to cut its carbon emissions."

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