Among the latest honourees was Sustainable RCHT, who in light of their incredible work over the past twelve months were highly commended by the HSJ for the Environmental Sustainability Award.
Roz Davies, General Manager for Specialist Services and Surgery, and Sustainability, explains: “It really is amazing to be the runner up for the Environmental Sustainability Award in our first year, and we still have so much more to do. The end of this year and moving through 2022 will bring a strong emphasis on a reduction in greenhouse gases, wellbeing, and prevention of health conditions, all of which are incredibly important as we race towards a 2030 Net Zero, all the while creating our Greener Cornwall.”
Over the past eighteen months, Sustainable RCHT has been leading the way in its commitment to providing new sustainability measures and green initiatives to help protect the environment. Many of these initiatives have been successful enough to garner both local and even national media attention.
“In October 2020, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust declared a Climate Emergency,”
Roz continues. “Since that time, the sustainability movement across the RCHT has flourished. Within six months of our climate emergency declaration, we had a Board-approved, system-wide Green Plan in place, which lays out our journey to net zero. We have recognised the importance of staff engagement in our work, which has directly led to a number of projects being implemented by colleagues across all areas of our hospitals and out into the wider community of Cornwall.”
One area where the RCHT has been widely recognized is in its role of both implementing reusable PPE, as well as repurposing single use PPE.
“Our clearest impact so far has been with face masks,” Roz continues. “Consumption of single use surgical masks at our hospitals reduced by 46% following the introduction of reusable masks for non-clinical areas. We have also diverted a large proportion of our single use masks away from incineration by installing a polypropylene plastic melting machine to start the recycling process. It’s been a practical example of what Sustainable RCHT can achieve, and a real model for what we hope to replicate in all other areas when creating sustainable change across our hospitals.”
An official statement from the HSJ Awards reads:
“Following one of the most demanding years on record for the NHS, the awards this year aim to shine a light on the outstanding efforts and achievements that teams across the country have delivered.”