The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is reducing its energy consumption and carbon footprint by encouraging staff, patients and visitors to adopt simple energy saving actions.

The Trust is a big energy consumer on the Island, and this translates in an energy related carbon footprint of about 7,000 Tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. Since 2010 the Trust has been working hard to reduce its energy use and carbon emissions, as part of an ambitious Carbon Management Programme. The feasibility of a number of additional energy efficiency projects for the Trust buildings is currently being undertaken, including the use of LED lighting and renewable energy sources.

In the meantime, an important part of the Trust energy strategy is the adoption of good energy behaviours by its building users. Good housekeeping, such as turning off lights and equipment when not in use, or closing doors to avoid draughts, can make a significant difference when replicated across an organisation. Those measures have also been proven to enhance patient experience in a research programme conducted at Barts Health NHS in London. The actions described reduce noise and light levels at night, providing for a more comfortable environment for patients to sleep. Staff have been actively engaged on those actions through the Trust’s Switch It Off campaign. British Gas has kindly supported the initiative as part of their commitment to sustainability.

Thursday was the NHS Sustainability Day 2015. The Day encouraged NHS organisations across the UK to take action towards a health and care systems which actively reduces its environmental impacts and carbon footprint, in line with the principles of sustainable development. On the day the winners of the Switch It Off photo competition were revealed and the winning staff received prizes such as high street vouchers and energy savings gizmos, all courtesy of British Gas.

Charles Joly, Waste and Environmental Manager for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:

“It was really great to see staff from a wide range of wards and departments across the organisation to get involved and support the Switch It Off campaign.”

Andrew Donald, Public Sector Client Manager at British Gas added:

“Small changes like switching off lights and closing doors really do create cost savings. These can be used to improve levels of patient care while preserving the environment. We’re really happy to support important initiatives like this. They underline just how much of a difference staff at the Trust can make when it comes to reducing energy use and carbon emissions”.

The initiative is part of the wider commitment of the Trust for high quality healthcare services delivered in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Trust is due to publish shortly its first Sustainable Development Management Plan, setting out its ambitions for reducing its environmental impacts and embedding sustainability principles in the organisation.