NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has today (21 June) published its first three-year Green Plan, ‘to transform estates to mitigate the impact of climate change, and drive the NHS to achieve Net Zero carbon status by 2040’.
Key targets within the NHS Property Services Green Plan 2022/23 to 2024/25 include:
- ‘Providing long-term, sustainable models of care’. Continuing to deliver ‘a flagship’ social prescribing programme, and transforming vacant and underutilised space on the NHS estate into ‘affordable’ or free-of-charge facilities for community groups.
- ‘Greener travel and transport’. Transitioning service vans and company lease cars to ultra-low emission vehicles, and developing an electric vehicle strategy, with a vehicle charging point map and plan for fleet transition.
- Decarbonising estates – this includes decarbonisation feasibility studies for end-of-life gas or oil-fired heating systems, establishing a calculation tool with carbon as the main metric to measure cost savings against, and allowing regional teams to access capital finance for energy and environment projects in their regions.
NHSPS said: “As the estates manager of over 3,000 NHS properties, NHSPS plays a vital role in achieving NHS England’s ambition for a Net Zero NHS by 2040. Additionally, all four UK health services have recently committed to becoming Net Zero by 2050 through the COP26 Health Programme, aligning with the Government’s ambition set out in its Build Back Greener strategy.”
This Green Plan is part of NHSPS’s wider Delivering a Greener NHS programme’, in support of NHS England’s Greener NHS campaign – and the government-owned company emphasises that developing efficient, ‘fit-for-the future’, sustainable buildings is ‘a critical part’ of its strategy.
NHSPS will open its new Devizes Health Centre in Wiltshire to patients this summer. One of the first ‘Net Zero’ health facilities across England, it will will utilise ‘green technology’ – such as heat pumps and solar panels – to generate electricity and heat to serve the building.
Since 2019, NHSPS says ‘it has lowered its carbon footprint by 30%, ‘saving the NHS £23 million in associated costs’. It has also shifted to 100% renewable electricity, and established a strategy to minimise waste to landfill, with more than 99% now diverted.
Cameron Hawkins, head of Energy and Environment, said: “The relationship between our health and our environment is inherently linked. It is vital that sustainability values are embedded in everything the NHS does, so that together we can improve the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve. We have already made tremendous progress in decarbonising the NHS Estate, and this bold and ambitious Green Plan will build on those successes and take our Greener NHS ambition to the next level. As owners of a large part of the NHS estate, we are in the unique position where we can make a substantial contribution to NHS England’s 2040 Net Zero targets.”