SOUTH Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has become the first trust in England to achieve an international environmental management award for all its hospitals.
This is the latest milestone in the trust’s five year ‘Green Plan’, which details how the trust will improve its environment and sustainability to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero (the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere).
The ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System is an international model designed for all organisations that demonstrate assurance to the environment and sustainability. It is regularly reviewed and audited by external auditors to ensure that compliance is maintained and continuous improvement is delivered.
The assessment process took three weeks, with auditors auditing both online and at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.
Steve Bell, environmental and sustainability lead and wastes manager for the trust and chair of the trust’s Greener NHS Group said: “This is a significant achievement for the trust.
“Whilst other trusts may have the certification they only have it for a particular department. South Tees is the first trust in England to achieve this status for all of its acute hospitals.
“This certification shows the trust’s commitment to the environment and looks towards continuous improvement. It also demonstrates to other companies and stakeholders that we require high standards of environmental assurance when going through procurement tender processes, this means sound business principles.
“It’s thanks to a lot of hard work from colleagues and partner organisations and we are delighted!”
The trust will now look to build on the award and implement the next stages of the Green Plan, including widespread recycling; individual ward and department environmental audits; expansion of green spaces and improving staff awareness.