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What is it and what is it for?

“Sustainability Action” is the new symbol of sustainability for NHSScotland.

It is an overarching ‘umbrella’ brand, to be used to support and promote staff behaviour change activities that contribute to delivering sustainability across all parts of the NHS: from public health, management, allied health professionals, pharmacy, science, the ambulance service, dental teams, doctors and our front line clinical staff  to the wider healthcare team.

The Sustainability Action ‘brand’ aims to

  • Explain what sustainability is and means through demonstrating and highlighting the sustainable actions that all NHSScotland staff can make
  • Raise the profile and importance of sustainability within NHS Scotland
  • Connect and contextualise all sustainability topics and actions
  • Underpin all sustainability-related communications across NHSScotland

Who can use it?

Anyone within NHSScotland working on a sustainability-related topic or wanting to promote change can use this brand to promote their activities. That means anyone from any department or executive Board promoting a Board-wide programme, through to a small clinical team in a ward encouraging sustainable staff behaviours.

What Have We Done?

As a part of the campaign we have an internal communications plan that will promote and raise awareness of our participation in a number environmental awareness days including World Environment Day, Recycling Week, Climate Week and more!

One of the new initiatives was offering our Aroma Café visitors the option to use a  sit-in china mug; this means the number of non-recyclable paper cups used is reduced creating less waste. We have been working on reducing the number of single-use items we use across the Board with more changes to come which will be promoted under the Sustainability Action brand.

Environmental Management System

NHSGGC is the largest NHS Board in Scotland and much of our work is in partnership with local authorities which means that our impact and influence is even greater and goes beyond our healthcare sites. We have various legal duties to ensure that we operate in the most environmentally compliant manner possible. Not only does patient care remain paramount, but we also have to ensure that we utilise our resources and operate in a more sustainable manner. As energy costs rise and raw materials dwindle, we have to become more efficient in order to continue to provide excellent patient care.

An Environmental Management System refers to the management of an organisations environmental impact and provide an organisational structure to planning, developing, implementing and monitoring policies for environmental protection.

The NHS Scotland Environmental Management System requires NHSGGC to develop processes and procedures, maintain compliance and report on all changes in legislation and risks via the Sustainability Planning Implementation Group (SPiG), which is the Boards Corporate Governance steering Group. This will ensure NHSGGC continues to reduce its environmental impacts across the organisations and in the services we provide.

Active Travel

NHSGGC are continuously encouraging sustainable travel by making staff and visitors aware of the various public transport links that are available to them.

There are a variety of bus routes to the hospital sites and health centres as well as a shuttle bus that links pedestrians to various hospital sites.

The Travel Plan Office have done a lot of work to promote sustainable travel and are often organising events in relation to electric vehicles and cycle to work schemes.

Greenspace and Biodiversity

Greenspace brings a lot of environmental benefits as well as health benefits to our staff, patients and visitors. The Sustainability Team would like to implement greenspace into areas with a lot of potential and opportunity across various sites. There has already been a number of greenspace projects in various health centers and hospitals such as Gartnavel General and Possilpark.

Having access to greenspace provides staff, patients and visitors with the opportunity to go outside and even take part in various activities such as gardening. Having access to greenspace encourages exercise and improves physical and mental health.

In relation to biodiversity under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act (2004), all public bodies in Scotland are required to further the conservation of biodiversity when carrying out their responsibilities. In addition, it is required under the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act (2011) to provide a public report on the actions which they have taken to meet this biodiversity duty.

The board are required to report to the Scottish Government every three years as part of Scotland’s Biodiversity Route map 2020. This brings together the key work needed to deliver on the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy: 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s biodiversity.

Welcome to the Sustainability section of NHSGGC. Here you can find information on our sustainable development initiatives and the environmental management system NHSGGC uses to reduce our impact on the environment. We focus on areas where we can make the most positive impact to the environmental and sustainable development contributions including community investment, health and safety, environmental compliance, waste minimisation and circular economy practices.

There are many benefits to sustainable development which are visible across social, economic and environmental aspects of society – the Triple Bottom Line; being sustainable in all three of these aspects will provide benefits for our staff, patients and visitors as a whole.