For the third year running, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has been awarded with a certificate of excellence for their sustainability reporting.
Recognised by the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU), NHS Improvement and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), NWAS has been commended for its commitment to operating with environmental responsibility.
Amongst a number of initiatives, NWAS has introduced electricity powered vehicles into their ambulance fleet following a successful trial which has seen four BMW i3 models operating as rapid response vehicles (RRVs) in Greater Manchester. This is now being rolled out across the trust and is expected to reduce the carbon contribution from RRVs by 90% with an estimated annual fuel cost saving per vehicle of £3,500.
The SDU, which works across the health and care sector on behalf of NHS England and Public Health England, conducted an analysis of all provider and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) annual reports to evaluate sustainability sections. 55 trusts and 42 CCGs (around 22%) have been selected for recognition out of 432 organisations across England.
Neil Maher, Assistant Director Service Delivery Support for NWAS said: “We all have a duty to look after our planet and operating sustainably is a top priority for us which is why we’re extremely proud to have been given this recognition for the third consecutive year.
“We’ve worked hard to make a number of positive changes which have not only made a huge impact on our carbon footprint but also reduced waste and air pollution. Our work doesn’t stop here and we are looking forward to making further improvements going forward.”
Other initiatives the trust has put in place to improve their sustainability include fitting solar roof panels, the use of LED lighting and combined heat and power units.
A dedicated waste control & minimisation officer has also been appointed to ensure that the trust is disposing of its waste efficiently.
High quality reporting on sustainability is recognised as a fundamental way in which organisations can demonstrate their commitment to embedding environmental, social and financial sustainability.
Good sustainability reporting is widely recognised as including the following areas:
- Leadership and engagement – Board level, staff and community
- Resources – such as energy, water and waste
- Travel – including staff travel, patient transport, business travel
- Procurement – including local, community and ethical procurement
- Adaptation and transformation
- New models of care.
The NHS Long Term Plan further strengthens the commitment of the NHS as a system leader in embedding sustainable development across the organisation. The LTP set clear targets for sustainability; carbon, air pollution and a mandate to in particular, reduce wastage and over reliance on single use plastics.