East London mental health trust switches to green power
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 07:21 22 March 2019
An NHS trust that provides mental health care to thousands of patients in east London is going green by getting 100 per cent of its energy from renewable sources.
Wind, solar and wave-generated electricity will power the East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) from April 1 as part of a push to reduce its carbon footprint.
“This is tremendous news for the Trust and a genuine demonstration of its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint,” said ELFT energy and environmental manager Adam Toll.
“ELFT has more than 100 buildings and this change to using sustainable and renewable energy is the equivalent of up to 400 domestic properties switching to renewables.”
The next step is to source carbon-neutral gas for its facilities.
The NHS produces 18 per cent of the carbon dioxide emitted from the UK’s non-residential buildings, according to a 2015 Department of Health and Social Care report.
The National Audit Office said the health service could save £180 million per year by reducing its emissions in a 2015 briefing - the most recent look at energy in the NHS.
The switch to green energy isn’t the first environmentally-minded move by ELFT.
Other initiatives include large-scale recycling, a travel plan to help staff make greener travel choices and installation of electric car charging-points.
British Gas and EDF are both helping the trust use only sustainable electricity.
“British Gas are delighted to be working alongside ELFT to support its targets towards a low carbon future by supplying electricity from 100% renewable sources,” said Matt Hook, corporate business manager for British Gas.
Steve Spittle, a sales and marketing account manager for EDF Energy, said that it was a good early step to reduce emissions: “It helps raise awareness and show support for more renewable generation in the UK.
“And because climate change will affect the health sector sooner and to a larger extent than many other sectors, so it makes sense for them to take this step.”
“The next step is becoming a smarter energy user to reduce the amount of energy it takes to run a hospital.”
The move by ELFT is coupled with a campaign get staff to take a personal role by saving energy and resources.