Thinking Green and Taking Action for a Sustainable Future

Here at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) we're making great strides in thinking differently and taking action for a sustainable future. We are constantly reviewing what we consume and how we consume in order to ensure that, in delivering our services, the Trust is always doing what it can to:

  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half in the next ten years, and almost entirely in the next 30 years, in order to keep the probability of the dangerous impacts of climate change within safe limits;
  • control the pollution of the air, land and water so that it does not endanger health;
  • carefully manage our draw on natural resources so that they do not become irreversibly damaged or depleted.

Each of the above are very significant and pressing risks to our wellbeing, habitat and all the other habitats and wider ecosystems upon which we depend. The risks are established and connected by the utilities, goods and materials we consume. This makes them very difficult risks to reduce. What we consume, and how we consume it, is deeply embedded in the day-to-day running of our hospitals and the day-to-day living of everyone involved as staff, patients or visitors.  At CUH, as with most organisations, our ability to function is down to being able to consume the goods, materials and utilities we need to deliver the services that make up our business – the business of using public money to return people to good health and to keep them that way.

CUH is a very intense consumer of energy, water, goods and materials. Front-line patient care, and all the associated support functions and campus infrastructure, mean that CUH consumes at the rate of a small town. This in itself brings a significant element of responsibility to ensure that the Trust’s consumption is as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

What we consume at CUH hinges upon the ‘flow’ of utilities, goods, materials and transport.  These are all vital material flows that CUH’s staff need to deliver safe, kind and excellent healthcare to all their patients: 24 hours of the day, 365 days of the year. The Trust consumes at a consistently high level in terms of the volume of these flows and the complexity of connections that need to be made in servicing all aspects of healthcare provision across the site. What matters is doing it in ways that are genuinely sustainable.

To carry on providing a safe, kind and excellent service whilst significantly reducing the resultant environmental impacts could be seen as one of the hardest challenges faced in the hospitals’ 250-year history.

Communicating for lasting change

Sustainability relating to patient, staff and visitor care, health and wellbeing. More ... 

Caring for our campus commuters: Access to Addenbrooke’s Plus

Encourages the greenest travel choice ...  

Towards sustainable supply chains

A procurement policy that benefits the Trust, society, the economy and the environment ... 

Getting more from recycling

Aiming for >50% recycling and negligible domestic and clinical waste contamination ... 

Energy efficiency in buildings

Continue the effective reduction of CO2 emissions to achieve 40% saving by 2017 ... 

Being prepared for the impacts of climate change

Making sure we're prepared for change ...