Policy, partnership and collaboration


One of the ways in which an organisation can embed sustainability is through the use of a Sustainable Development Management Plan (SDMP). The Trust’s Board adopted the CUH SDMP in 2013 and covers the period up to 2020.

An SDMP is supported and augmented by a range of more subject-specific policies and procedures. These include an extensive Transport Strategy that appropriately embraces the wider Cambridge Biomedical Campus and our site partners.

Other key documents include the Trust’s Environmentally Sustainable Design and Construction Protocol, the Waste Management Policy and Waste Disposal Procedures, and several policies relating to aspects of energy and water management. These are all refreshed and updated on a regular basis.

Sustainability is now referenced within the Trust’s tender preparation guidance. Procurement procedures are being developed to ensure that lifecycle costings are appropriately covered in relation to energy, waste, water and transportation.

The Sustainable Development Unit for the health and care system in England ran a full consultation exercise to review and update its valuable Good Corporate Citizenship guide. The Trust usefully contributed to this process and the new Sustainable Development Assessment Tool (SDAT) stands to be an important route to re-assessing corporate coverage of the sustainability agenda at CUH. A full assessment, using the SDAT, will be carried out and the results will provide vital evidence and direction in the re-drafting of the SDMP for the period 2020-2025.

Climate change brings new challenges to our business both in direct effects to the healthcare estate, and also to patient health. Examples from recent years include the effects of heat waves, and the extreme surface water flooding event of 17 July 2015. Our SDMP identifies the need for the development of a Board approved adaptation plan for future climate change risks affecting our area. Key elements of this will be the Surface Water Management Plan, currently being reviewed in collaboration with the Cambridge City Council, a site-wide Water Resource Management Study (currently being finalised) and continuing work on environmental cooling.

Partnership and collaboration

Partnerships, networks of shared interest and less formal collaborative working arrangements are fundamental aspects of the route to sustainability for any organisation and the communities it serves. This point is very clearly made in the Trust’s SDMP. Actions for a more sustainable world make little impact in isolation. Sustainability is for everyone.

Some responses are very technical whilst others are just about ‘doing the right thing’ as we go about our lives. Everything from upgrading the gas burners in our steam-generating boilers to simply putting what we see as rubbish into the correct bin so that it can be properly recycled. No one wants to waste resources, experience pollution, see our natural environment decline or face the dangerous impacts of climate change. The Trust recognises that the responsibility to prevent this happening is not something that one department, one team of ‘green champions’ or one hospital can shoulder on its own. Reaching out and searching for support that works in both directions across all our healthcare colleagues, patients and visitors, and our partners in the public, private, voluntary and community sectors is essential to an environmentally sustainable future.

We currently have productive or potentially productive relationships for the purposes of advancing environmental sustainability with the following external partners: Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridge County Council, Greater Cambridge Partnership, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Connecting Cambridgeshire, NHS Sustainable Development Unit, East of England NHS Regional Sustainability Network, East of England Health Estates and Facilities Management Association, Cambridge Sustainable Food, Cambridge Carbon Footprint, Cambridge Cycling Campaign, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Judge Business School Circular Economy Centre,  Anglia Ruskin University, University of Sussex, Medical Research Council, AstraZeneca, Royal Papworth Hospital, National Union of Students, Cambridge Cleantech and local community groups.

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