13 May 2021

Taking action to tackle climate change!

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust has today (Friday 14th May) set out its commitment to tackling climate change by declaring a climate emergency.

AWP joins other NHS organisations across the UK, which have already made the declaration, and has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Harnessing the huge enthusiasm of more than 4,000 staff, the Trust has pledged to take action on:

  • Single use plastics;

  • Recycling and disposal of waste;

  • Energy use for heating and lighting;

  • Energy from sustainable sources;

  • Water use;

  • Vehicle emissions from staff and patient travel and goods deliveries;

  • Sustainable food sourcing; and

  • Encouraging staff, patients, service users and families to lead greener, healthier lives.

Dominic Hardisty, Chief Executive for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, said: "We acknowledge that urgent action is needed to tackle climate change, which is a major threat to public health. We are a large organisation employing more than 4,000 staff across a wide geographical area and we recognise that the impact of our operations on the environment are currently unsustainable.

"We have set ourselves the ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030 and have already seen the impact of some of the measures we have adopted. We recognise we still have a long way to go but we are confident that by working with our staff, patients, service users and partner organisations we can achieve our goal."

You can watch a short video from Dominic Hardisty here

In 2012/13 AWP's total carbon footprint was 8,300 tonnes and, through the adoption of a number of measures, in 2019/20 this had been reduced to 7,800 tonnes. Some of the measures already introduced by the Trust include:

  • A trustwide cycle to work scheme, with 86 bikes already purchased by employees;

  • The installation of LED lighting and improved heating controls at a number of sites;

  • Switching the majority of sites to a renewable electricity tariff, which will reduce electricity carbon emissions by at least 1,500 tonnes;

  • The introduction of 28 electric bikes for community based staff to use. In 2019 over 28,000 miles were travelled using the bikes;

  • The installation of 34 new cycle stands at eight sites across Bristol to encourage staff to cycle to work; and

  • Adopting digital technology to enable staff and patients to take part in virtual meetings and appointments, reducing the number of miles travelled.

  • Delivering £4.5 million of carbon reduction projects across the Trust, including LED lighting, solar panels, air source heat pumps, new building management systems, pipework insulation, air conditioning controls and new electric radiators, thanks to a grant from the Salix Decarbonisation Programme.

Luke Champion, Energy and Sustainability Manager, at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, said: "Our staff are really passionate about the role we can all play in reducing carbon emissions, not just at work but in our personal lives too. We have established a sustainability group, which meets regularly to look at and implement some of the creative ideas our staff are proposing and we all recognise that by making small changes to the way we work, we can make a significant difference to our environmental impact."

AWP is currently developing its environmental action plan to support its commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

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