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Playing our part in helping the NHS meet net zero

16 June 2022


The James Paget University Hospital is playing its part in helping the NHS meet a pledge to reach net zero carbon by 2040.

NHS England has announced that for the first time, every trust in the country now has their own roadmap to tackle climate change and meet the NHS’s net zero commitments.

The announcement comes after the NHS became the first health service in the world to commit to reaching net zero by 2040 for the emissions it controls directly, and by 2045 for the emissions it influences.

The new green plans are expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than a million tonnes over the next three years - the same as taking 520,000 cars off the road.

Our Green Plan sets out how we will support the net zero commitment, and includes information about the initiatives we have already put in place:

  • Our catering team use local suppliers for the ingredients needed to make meals for patients and staff - and, in our restaurant, we have introduced recycleable wooden forks, cardboard cups and straws and plastic-free wraps for our sandwiches.

A selection of sandwiches and wraps with wooden cutlery in a pot behind    A woman wearing a white tunic with the James Paget logo on, and a deli-counter style white hat, stands holding a box of potatoes with a bowl of apples on top.

  • Food waste from our kitchens is now converted to energy, thanks to a process which speeds up the natural decomposition of food waste, using oxygen. The WasteMaster system breaks down the cellular structure of the food, releasing the moisture and reducing the total volume by up to 80%. The result is an odourless residue which can be used at an anaerobic digestion plant to create energy - and means that our food waste is being put to a good use rather than being sent to landfill or macerated into the drain.

A man in a fluorescent yellow jacket and wearing black gloves hold a handful of food residue over a red bin.    A man wearing a fluorescent waist coat pushes a grey wheelie bin through an open doorway into a wooden shed   The bin appears next to a hatch on a machine reading 'Waste Master'.

  • In 2021/22, we reduced the total carbon emissions produced from imported gas, oil and electricity by more than 32%. This was achieved through measures such as securing a contract which guarantees that all our electricity comes from sustainable sources, upgrading to LED lighting across the site and using energy generated by our own on-site solar farm, which produced 8% of our electricity.

Our Solar Panel array at the back of the hospital. The sky is blue with white clouds behind the panels that appear to be dark blue. There is long green green grass on the ground at the base of the panels.

  • We’re making sure that our staff can contribute to our Green Plan. We’ve developed a Sustainability Committee and are now looking to appoint Green Champions from departments across the hospital to promote sustainability and encourage colleagues to follow sound environmental practices, including recycling and reducing their carbon footprint.

Greener NHS graphic - the front cover of our Green Plan appears over a drawn image showing various green initiatives including wind turbines, someone cycling and trees

  • Our Trust encourages staff to leave the car at home and bike to the hospital, to help cut CO2 emissions. We run a Cycle to Work scheme, have installed secures cycle rack facilities and arrange regular free maintenance/service clinics so they can keep their cycles in good working order.

A woman with a bicycle enters one of our secure cycle storage areas