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Community Health Partnerships champions a Greener NHS for Earth Day 2024

22 April 2024 is Earth Day, a day of global effort to advance sustainability and climate action. Individuals from across the world are encouraged to take action and promote the importance of our environment and the threat posed by climate change to our world.   This year’s global initiative is #PlanetVsPlastics. The ambitious goal is to achieve a 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040 and eliminating single-use plastics by 2030 are crucial steps towards a healthier planet.

Earth Day focuses on accelerating action and bringing everyone together to understand that change is within our reach if we work together.

Healthier Planet Healthier People

Climate change has a direct impact on our health. Undermining the core foundations of good health, contributing to cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer and other diseases. Furthermore, action to tackle climate change also reduces the burden of disease from air pollution, obesity, and poor diet whilst directly addressing health inequalities.

The urgency to combat climate change cannot be overstated. Reducing harmful carbon emissions is not just an environmental imperative, it’s a public health necessity. By tackling climate change, we improve overall health and save lives.

Top tips to reduce your plastic use:

  1. Carry a reusable bottle
    In the UK we use over 35 million plastic bottles every day. Carrying a reusable bottle is a great way to cut your plastic use and save money. There’s even an app that tells you where you can refill your bottle for free. 
    People rarely think of water when they think of plastics. But making a plastic water bottle requires six times as much water as the bottle itself contains.
  2. Say no to plastic straws
    Plastic straws are bad news for our oceans. Next time you order a drink, think about whether you need a straw – and if you don’t, just say no.
  3. Take a reusable coffee cup
    2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK – and less than 1 in 400 are recycled. Carry a reusable cup with you – some cafes offer a small discount if you use your own cup (and if they don’t ask them why not?)
  4. Use refill stations for detergents and washing
    There are some products where it’s difficult to avoid a plastic container (for example washing up liquid or laundry liquid) – the good news is that there are an increasing amount of places where you can refill your old bottles. (www.recyclenow.com/how-to-recycle/refill-shops)
    In the home opt for natural loofah sponges for showering instead of plastic bath sponges.
  5. Say no to disposable plastic cutlery
    We’ve all been there – caught out in a cafe or at a train station when we’ve bought a salad or a yogurt but the only cutlery on offer is plastic! Whilst it’s hard to plan for every opportunity, consider carrying a spoon or fork (or spork!) in your bag or keeping cutlery in your desk at work.
  1. Get your milk delivered
    Although the early morning sound of a milk float is not as common as it used to be, there are still lots of places in the UK where you can get milk delivered in glass bottles – which are then collected and reused. You can find your nearest milkround here.
  2. Carry a shopping bag Since the plastic bag charge was introduced in England, there’s been a massive 85% drop in their use. Many of us are used to carrying an extra bag with us – if you still find it hard to remember, try a foldaway one that you can carry in your normal day bag.
  3. Change your food storage to plastic-free Replace plastic cling wrap with reusable silicone wraps or beeswax fabric to cover food storage containers. Use reusable mesh bags for storing fruits and vegetables in the fridge instead of plastic produce bags. Store leftovers and snacks in reusable glass or stainless steel containers rather than plastic wrap or zipper bags.
  4. Make a Plastic-free pledge
    Try avoiding or reducing plastic consumption for one week. From the weekly shop to eating out, look for alternative packaging, and products, and explore your local refill shop.

World Earth Day 2024

Planet vs Plastics

Planet vs. Plastics unites individuals, businesses, schools, health care organisations, and NGOs in an unwavering commitment to call for the end of plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of plastics by 2040 and an ultimate goal of building a plastic-free future for generations to come.

Everyone can advocate for the exploration of bold, creative and innovative solutions to climate change.

To achieve a 60% reduction by 2040, earthday.org's goals are:

  • promoting widespread public awareness of the damage done by plastic to human, animal, and all biodiversity’s health and demanding more research be conducted on its health implications, including the release of information regarding its effects to the public;
  • rapidly phasing out all single-use plastics by 2030 and achieving this phase out commitment in the United Nations Treaty on Plastic Pollution in 2024;
  • demanding policies ending the scourge of fast fashion and the vast amount of plastic it produces and uses; and
  • investing in innovative technologies and materials to build a plastic-free world.
Reduce your plastic use by avoiding single-use items, look at eco-friendly substitutes and by part of a wider shift towards a plastic-free lifestyle.
Learn more about plastics and understand the detrimental impacts on human health and the planet.  Plastics are made from oil, an increasingly scarce resource, and toxic chemicals.
Call for investment in innovative technologies aimed at finding suitable alternatives to plastics.  
 

Read Earth Day Factsheets:

How CHP is investing for a Greener NHS - Delivering on Sustainability

As part of the NHS family, CHP is committed to the ambitious goal of creating the world’s first net zero health system. NHS healthcare estates and facilities contribute roughly 15% of the NHS total carbon footprint.

The NHS has already begun implementing emissions reduction measures across medication use, transportation, and the NHS estate. These changes not only contribute to a greener future, but they also have the potential to improve patient care today, while enhancing the health and wellbeing of staff, patients, and the public for generations to come.

CHP, as the head tenant in 308 modern primary care facilities, plays a crucial role. These facilities, strategically located in areas of high health need, offer flexible, well-utilised, and welcoming spaces.  We recognise our role in delivering more sustainable healthcare facilities.  

CHP Tenants: Helping you to reach your sustainability goals

CHP is dedicated to supporting our tenants in their sustainability efforts.

At CHP we are always looking for ways to reduce our plastic use and support tenants, patients, and visitors to our buildings to do the same – from working with our waste contractors to find innovative waste disposal and management solutions to introducing initiatives to repurpose consumables. 

We offer a range of resources and expertise to help you, including identifying areas for improvement and implementing sustainable solutions.

CHP’s Sustainability Team is here to assist you on your journey towards a more sustainable future. Together, we can make a significant contribution to a Greener NHS. 

Please contact the Sustainability Team sustainability@communityhealthparternships.co.uk and your local Property and Operations team for further information.

CHP Green Plan - a greener CHP, a greener NHS (PDF)

In 2022 CHP published our 'Green Plan: A Greener CHP a Greener NHS'. We are embedding our Green Plan into our business, committing resources, supporting staff, and taking action to ensure it is a success.

Our Green Plan objectives include:
  • Corporate CHP to be Net Zero Carbon by 2030
  • LIFT Portfolio to be Net Zero Carbon by 2040
  • Meet our annual reporting requirements and obligations as a landlord, such as the minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES) and energy performance certificates (EPC).
CHP supports its staff to get involved in the Greener NHS ‘Healthier Planet, Healthier People’ staff engagement campaign. Everyone at CHP can help meet our sustainability goals and we are supporting our staff to make changes.

CHP is playing its part by installing LED lights, solar photovoltaic projects, improving recycling facilities at our buildings, and upgrading communal planting and gardens including planting trees.  In addition, we have plans for more electric car charging points, bike storage and encouraging sustainable transport at our primary care buildings.

Sustainability at CHP

As part of the NHS family, CHP supports the NHS ambition to deliver the world’s first net zero health system. Sustainable Facilities are one of our five strategic aims and Sustainability is one of our four corporate social responsibility pillars. Aligning with the NHS target of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2040, the team at CHP are committed to achieve Net Zero Carbon for the LIFT estate by 2040 and 2030 for our corporate functions.

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