Dorset HealthCare goes ‘clean and green’ to tackle climate change

25th November 2021

As part of work to meet NHS carbon net zero targets, Dorset HealthCare is switching to eco-friendly, energy-efficient equipment – and helping staff go ‘green’ at the same time.

The Trust, one of Dorset’s biggest employers, is making great strides in reducing its carbon ‘footprint’ and supporting the battle against climate change.

Old light fittings across all 22 of its major sites in the county have been replaced with more energy-efficient LED lighting.

Working with Energy Saving Lighting (ESL), the Trust has switched more than 18,000 lights, reducing its carbon emissions by around 600 tonnes a year. All the old light fittings were recycled locally.

Moving to LED lighting also has huge health benefits for patients, visitors and staff, as it mimics natural daylight and has been proven to reduce headaches, lower stress and anxiety levels, increase alertness and encourage normal sleep patterns.

At the same time, the Trust installed solar PV panels at community hospitals in Alderney (Poole), Blandford and Bridport, and is buying solar power from local not-for-profit community of interest society, Dorset Community Energy. Around 120 tonnes of carbon savings are due to be delivered by this project each year.

And, since April this year, the Trust has been buying clean, renewable energy. By using a mix of solar, wind and hydro energy, this will offset around 3,000 tonnes of CO2.

In addition, an Active Travel Plan is being developed to encourage the organisation’s 7,000 staff to use alternative modes of transport, such as cycling and walking. Electric charging points are also being installed at sites across Dorset so electric vehicles can be used to support patient care in the community.

Patrick McDermott, Dorset HealthCare’s Sustainability and Fleet Manager, said:

“We have made great progress over the last year in reducing our carbon footprint. We are committed to playing our part in improving the environment and are aiming to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2030.

“Our target is to become a carbon net zero health service by 2040. It’s great we are making this change to clean and renewable electricity in the same year as the UK hosted COP 26 and helped focus the world’s attention on climate change action.”

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