Here’s an overview on some of the green projects that are currently ongoing across the Trust:
1. Solar panels:
Solar panels have been installed across the whole of the hospital, allowing us to generate more of our energy on site and reduce the need to source this from external suppliers. In total, just over 2,500 panels have been introduced which, when operational, will produce approximately 8% of our total electrical output.
As well as the installation of solar panels, we have further improved roofing infrastructure and insulation in some of the oldest parts of the hospital site, moving from a 50mm solution to a 150mm product. This helps to keep our environments cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and improves our energy efficiency.
Here’s a few pictures of some of the solar panels in action:
You can find out more about our solar panels, and how we’re improving energy optimisation across the site, in the case study here or in the video below:
2. Completely green electricity:
All of the electricity that we use is supplied by a renewable energy provider, ensuring zero emissions are produced.
3. Waste management:
MKUH has partnered with several suppliers (including Tradebe, Cawleys and other subcontractors) to increase the reuse of our waste and improve recycling the of our materials, supporting the circular economy and reducing waste going to landfill. Some of the initiatives in this area include:
Glass, cardboard and dry mixed recycling waste reprocessed as construction materials
Plastics are recycled
Food containers – we have switched to vegware takeaway containers, reducing plastic consumption and decreasing CO2 emissions
Our new food service project uses real-time information and portion controls. As such, food waste from patients has reduced from 17% to 2%
4. Medications management:
Prescribing of medication, as well as the disposal of materials, have been identified as areas of high priority, due to the high carbon emissions that are associated. Teams across the organisation are working hard on a number of different projects, including:
Lowering the use of volatile anaesthetic gases
Reviewing inhalers prescriptions and disposal as well as patient choice across the region
Identifying how we return and appropriately dispose of waste medicines
Identifying opportunities for recycling of blister packaging
Introducing carbon alternate medicines (e.g.tablets for children where suitable)
LED and motion sensor lighting: Both multi-storey car parks now feature motion sensor lighting so that energy is only consumed when it is needed. Similarly, the lighting across the site has been upgraded to LEDs which is less power and are more efficient.
EV charging: Currently there are 16 electric vehicle charging points located in our car parks and there are plans to increase this over the next few months as more staff make the switch to EVs.
Virtual consultations: Virtual consultations are increasing in popularity, allowing patients to be seen without having to come onto the hospital site. Currently, approximately 20% of our outpatient activity is delivered virtually and it is anticipated this will increase to 25% by the end of March 2022. As well as reducing unnecessary emissions from our patients having to travel onto site, these consultations also offer greater flexibility and time savings.
Staff wellness: The health and wellbeing of #TeamMKUH is something we take extremely seriously. We know that sustainability is not just how we use resources, it is how we look over the people that work in our hospital. Over the last four years, we have invested significantly in a variety of different services and facilities. Find out more here.
Biodiversity: We are constantly reviewing our grass cutting policies, as well as ensuring that we ring-fence the vast number of green spaces we have access to across the site. Our Estates maintenance team is also looking at greener ways to maintain our garden areas, switching to electrically powered equipment.