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Our sustainable development objectives

Progress to date

NHS Forest award for New Leaf in ExminsterSince we first developed an SDMP in 2008, we have made progress in a number of areas, including:

  • Meeting the target of a 10% reduction in carbon emissions
  • Improving our recycling of waste
  • New Leaf in Exminster (our vocational rehabilitation service) was awarded most innovative NHS Forest of the Year in 2009
  • Invested in improving the energy efficiency of our buildings and in reducing loss of water
  • Provided pool cars and hire vehicles to support more sustainable means of travel
  • Introduced the cyclescheme for staff and improved facilities for cyclists at some of our sites 
  • Developed the use of teleconferencing and video conferencing to reduce business mileage.

Our objectives

Following a self-assessment of progress with our sustainable development aims the steering group identified key areas for action. We will ensure:

  • Our governance arrangements for sustainable development are clear and accountable
  • Our vision for sustainable development is clear and well communicated
  • We support our staff by promoting awareness, supporting behavioural change, encouraging new ways of working, low carbon travel and use of ICT
  • Our approach to environmental and social responsibility is understood and  supported by people who use our services and local communities
  • We work with other local organisations to develop a whole systems approach to sustainable development
  • We understand the risks that climate change presents to our services and have an adaptation plan 
  • We deliver our services from environments which are low carbon, promote health and wellbeing, and are resilient to changes in climate 
  • We provide integrated care that is simple to use, convenient and easy to access
  • Sustainability is a core principle in all our purchasing decisions
  • We will reduce our carbon emissions by saving on energy, travel, water and waste.

Reducing our carbon footprint

We have already successfully achieved a 10% reduction in carbon emissions and the challenge now is to achieve a further 24% reduction by 2020. We need to save 942 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next six years to achieve the target of a 34% reduction by 2020. The two main areas where we will do this are in our energy use and business travel.