Each Trust has published a Green Plan, key priorities from which are contained within the Cheshire and Merseyside Green Plan which will see opportunities to reduce carbon emissions and improve healthy environments across its estate.
Developing new buildings which are energy efficient and sympathetic to their local environment, creating nature gardens and wild spaces, using less water and paper, and improving the efficiency of heating and energy systems are just some of the plans being put in place to meet the target.
Other ways of reducing carbon such as encouraging more walking, cycling and sustainable travel for staff and patients, and exploring the use of re-usable equipment are also part of the plan.
As well as this, hospitals and other sites will look at how they can reduce the emission of damaging anaesthetic gases.
This is the first time that all 212 trusts in the country have their own roadmap to tackle climate change and meet the NHS’s net zero commitments. The new green plans are expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than a million tonnes in the UK over the next three years – the same as taking 520,000 cars off the road.
The climate crisis is recognised as a health emergency, which is why the NHS has become the first health service in the world to commit to reaching net zero; by 2040 for the emissions it controls directly, and by 2045 for the emissions it influences.
Thousands of deaths occur every year in Cheshire and Merseyside as a result of poor air quality and these often disproportionately affect our poorest and most vulnerable communities.
Air pollution has a significant effect on public health, and poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. It is also recognised that some areas of Cheshire and Merseyside have among the highest levels of air pollution in the country.
Dave Sweeney, Director of Partnerships and Sustainability for the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, said: “All Green Plan priorities from Cheshire and Merseyside trusts have been incorporated into an overarching Green Plan.
“It’s not just the environmental impact that matters; these plans work to deliver improved patient care, save lives, and reduce costs and waste.
“With air pollution alone contributing to one in 20 deaths per a year, it is clear we are facing a health emergency as well as a climate emergency. Our Green Plan is a testament to our staff’s commitment to tackling climate change, and we are proud to set out the positive actions we will take to reduce our impact on the environment and safeguard the future health of our children and grandchildren.”