Sustainability Projects Assistant Sarah, at Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals

Sarah has been fantastic to work with. She has successfully rasied the profile of sustainability throughout the Trust and has been a real asset to the organisation!

Laura Dale - Line Manager

The Brief

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals are committed to becoming a low carbon, sustainable provider of high quality healthcare. As well as a rolling programme of infrastructural changes, the Trust’s Sustainability Management Plan incorporates engaging with the 4,500 staff to support this aim by adopting a more sustainable lifestyle at work and at home. Staff engagement is delivered through the Green Impact scheme which was reaching the end of its third year when I started in September. My task was to rejuvenate the low-level participation into a vibrant, Trust-wide scheme with proven benefits in carbon emissions and financial savings. 

The Partnership     

As a new positoin within the hospital’s Sustainability team, Change Agents UK provided invaluable training and support in delivering the Green Impact programme. Their close links with NUS have allowed effective collaboration and support in tailoring the programme to the specific requirements of a hospital environment.

Key Responsibilities

My main responsibilities were to increase participation in the scheme by getting more departments involved and to support Green Champions in implementing sustainable improvements. This has included a large focus on communications; reimagining the sustainability newsletter, completely redesigning the sustainability intranet site and running regular stalls in prominent locations around the Trust. I have also delivered presentations to top managers on the benefits of sustainability in healthcare and been involved in organising events such as NHS Sustainability Day and the Green Impact Awards ceremony.

Opportunity Benefits

Regular mentoring allowed me to reflect continuously on project progress. The Change Agents Academy provided useful resources and a network of others delivering Green Impact to share our problems and successes. I really valued the training with other SPAs run by Change Agents as an opportunity to share ideas on our projects and also to develop skills and networks to build a successful career in sustainability. It seems like everyone in the sector has been a Change Agent!

The Results

I recruited 17 new teams, taking the Trust from 8 to 25 (and counting!)

Green Champions in clinical areas now have top management support to allocate time for driving sustainable practise in their departments

The monthly Sustainability Newsletter now goes out to nearly 100 staff including success stories from across the Trust and suggested ‘Actions of the Month’.

I led the production of a 5min Green Impact film which can be viewed here.

Energy Saving Packs, including posters, stickers, information on cost savings and suggested easy actions have been given out to over 35 departments.

Sustainable behaviour changes amounted to an estimated financial saving of £19,000 in 2015. This is likely to be much more this year with over 3 times the number of departments involved.

Hospital volunteers have been trained to carry out environmental audits in their departments.

Next steps

Now that Green Impact has been successfully rejuvenated, the next step is to increase participation even more so that every department has a Green Champion!