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Action on the environment and saving water stepped-up at NHS Trust Sustainability Day

Increasing steps on sustainability with staff – and finding ways to reduce carbon emissions during the year – was the focus of a day on environmental action, which included information on how reducing hot water can help bring costs down.

The Sustainability Day, run by Stockport NHS Foundation Trust in support of its Green Plan developed in 2021, was supported by Water Plus , a water retailer which has won 6 national awards for its work since October 2022, which helped engage and educate staff around making the most of water that’s used.

The Sustainability Day included highlighting Cycle to Work, along with information from the local council on climate change and action, the importance of water-saving and other ways carbon emissions can be reduced by small steps we can all take.

Those attending the day at Stepping Hill Hospital, in Stockport, were also asked to scan a QR code – and make a pledge around carbon reduction.

Hospital staff, including doctors and nurses and those in other roles, joined in on the day. The Trust has teamed-up with Water Plus after choosing the water retailer through the Pagabo Utilities Supply Framework for the public sector, covering water and wastewater.

Rajni Sisodiya, Energy and Sustainability Manager in the Estates Department, at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The day was really effective and staff engaged with the information provided. The Water Plus Key Account Manager who joined us was brilliant, starting more conversations around water conservation with staff. To date, staff have made over 140 pledges on reducing carbon emissions by 6,000 Kg.

“Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Stepping Hill Hospital and community NHS services, started establishing a Green Plan in 2021, looking at all aspects of its environmental impact to see where carbon emissions can be reduced. We are committed to becoming a net zero NHS, and water conservation is one of our agreed actions in our Green Plan, so it’s great to be working with the experts at Water Plus on this.”

Water Plus ran a 3-question quiz on the day to get people engaging around water awareness, including how many litres of water could be used in a 6-minute shower. Shower-timers were provided for staff as part of the engagement day.

Lisa Moore, who heads up the public sector team at Water Plus which works with the Trust, said: “Water efficiency at work and at home are really important topics and it was clear that staff at the Trust were more aware of how – and where – they’re using water. At the Sustainability Day we did a short multiple-choice quiz around using water at home and how being aware of this at work can all help look out for areas where it can be saved – and also how energy costs can be lower, if less water is heated at home or at work.

“A lot of staff got the questions right on how much water was used in different ways and some were already limiting shower times. Staff were very conscious of costs and how they were using water and gas – and it’s great to be helping Stockport NHS Trust, through our dedicated account management, with their journey to Net Zero, to help our planet and lower impacts on communities for the future.”

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040, has received additional water checklists and guides to help identify areas where quick improvements can be made. They’ve also received water efficiency packs to engage more with staff to increase awareness of where water waste could occur – and to improve on reporting on any dripping taps or leaks across sites.

The Trust is one of the largest employers in the area, with over 5,000 staff and it’s a specialist ‘hub’ centre for emergency and high risk general surgery – one of only four in Greater Manchester and covering the South East sector of the region.

Water Plus, which is the largest water retailer in the UK, received four international Green Apple Environment Awards in November 2022, including Gold for Water Management, for its work with organisations, including reducing water waste to help reduce impacts on the environment.

In October 2022 the company also won two National Sustainability Awards including one for Water Reduction for its work around increasing water efficiency and raising awareness around carbon emissions linked to water. Water Plus is also shortlisted for two UK Customer Satisfaction Awards in 2023.

You can contact the Water Plus expert Public Sector team here if you have any questions about partnering with them, or need help with procurement and tenders.

In separate work – and amongst other activity by Water Plus – suggestions for sites where more native UK trees will thrive in 2023 can be made, including near public sector buildings in England and Scotland. Organisations can email with details of public sector sites that could accommodate trees, which will be distributed in packs of 10 saplings. Water Plus will review all suggestions.

Additional notes:

The Sustainability Day at the Trust was held in January 2023.

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