Southern Trust Drive to Reduce its Carbon Footprint
01/10/2014The Southern Health and Social Care Trust is calling on staff, patients, clients, visitors and all of those involved in its services to join in the drive to reduce its carbon footprint.
With the Trust aiming to save £1 million a year on energy bills, Assistant Director of Estate Services Alan Metcalfe explains. “The Southern Trust has 13,000 staff, providing health and social services every day from hospitals, health centres, day centres, residential facilities and also travelling to clients’ own homes. So understandably we require thousands of litres of oil and water daily, have tonnes of waste to dispose of and a substantial energy budget to maintain.
“We are continually looking for ways to fulfil our legal and environmental obligations to reduce waste, prevent pollution and conserve energy and have set ourselves targets to reduce fossil fuel use, electricity and water consumption and the amount of waste we send to landfill.
“Since we introduced our Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme in 2010, the Trust has reduced its energy consumption by 4.6% which is a significant achievement given an ever increasing demand on energy. Over the past three years we have also reduced our carbon emissions by 37.5% and aim to further increase our consumption of natural gas in the next year.”
The Trust is appealing to those who use its facilities to remember some simple but effective energy saving tips:
• Switch lights off when out of the office.
• Switch off computer screens during the day if not needed.
• Switch off all computers, photocopiers, fans, printers and office equipment at the end of the working day.
• Don’t leave equipment on standby.
• Close all doors and windows if heating or air conditioning is on.
• Switch off toilet lights / extract fans when not needed.
• Close office blinds at night to the keep heat in.
• Keep radiators clear - blocking radiators with furniture can reduce efficiency and output.
• Report leaking or dripping taps - a tap dripping one drop per second can waste up to 28 litres of water a week.
• Report any overflows from toilets or tanks.
The Southern Trust’s Director of Performance and Reform, Paula Clarke comments: “One of the Trust’s core objectives is to be a good social partner and our Sustainability Strategy highlights our commitment to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Led by our estates team, staff are making every effort to reduce our carbon footprint without compromising patient and client care. We have made significant investment to improve energy efficiency, for example the new combined heating and power scheme at Daisy Hill Hospital, a new mechanical infrastructure project at Craigavon Hospital using natural gas rather than heavy oil and a number of oil to natural gas conversions for instance at Lurgan Hospital, Lisanally House Armagh and Bocombra Lodge, Portadown. We have also introduced new monitoring systems to determine where energy is being wasted and are taking part in the EU funded EDISON Project to explore new ideas for energy efficiency.
“Along with protecting the environment, we hope that our patients, clients and staff will greatly benefit from these measures. Not only are we creating more comfortable and energy efficient buildings but we are making cash savings that can be reinvested back into front line health and social care services.”