Friday, 10 September 2010

Norfolk health bosses bid to cut carbon footprint

Health bosses in Norfolk have put innovative measures in place to in order
to reduce their carbon footprint.

New research suggests many NHS trusts are not yet compliant with the new
Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) legislation which comes into force next

All organisations which consume more than 6,000 megawatt hours of energy a
year will be required by law to register their energy use by September 30.

Those that do not, face an immediate £5,000 fine and £500 for every day
after until they do so.

However, in Norfolk, trust bosses say they do not use this much energy each
year and therefore do not have to comply with the legislation. Instead, they have put schemes in place such as a loan bike initiative and
plans to incorporate renewable energy sources.

Jonathan Cook, NHS Norfolk's director of corporate services, said: "As a
commissioner of local health services, NHS Norfolk takes its role in
minimising its carbon footprint very seriously and takes part in a number of
initiatives to help reduce energy usage. However, as NHS Norfolk's energy
usage was below 6,000 MW per half-hourly energy reading, the organisation is
not required to fully participate in the scheme. "Instead, NHS Norfolk is required to provide reports on the half-hourly
meters we have, which we already supplied for the current period.

"One way in which NHS Norfolk is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint is by
signing up to the 10:10 initiative, which aims to reduce the UK's carbon
emissions by 10pc by the end of 2010. NHS Norfolk has now completed its
first carbon footprint analysis, which will be used as a benchmark for
future reductions."

"There are a number of other initiatives, such as a loan bike scheme so
staff can bike to work or to other offices for meetings and investment into
more sustainable building methods wherever possible for our construction

Last year, NHS Norfolk received an award for its commitment to achieving
reductions in carbon emissions at an East of England Health and Social Care
Awards event.

Alison Taylor, director of finance and chairman of NHS GYW's sustainable
development committee, said: "We are committed to protecting our environment
and have placed a high priority on reducing our carbon footprint.

"As such, we have an established Sustainable Development Committee which has
spearheaded initiatives to cut the amount of waste we produce and reduce
travel by using tele-conferencing facilities, while we incorporate renewable
energy sources, such as solar panels and ground source heat pumps, in our
capital development plans."

The latest research was carried out by business management consultancy,
Blackmores, who said many trusts are "not only ill-prepared for the CRC but
they also fail to meet best practice standards on environmental management

Further information about the NHS Environmental Management System is
available at


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