Forklift truck with shredded paper bale at Restore Datashred facility

Confidential waste paper recycling at CHP supports a Greener NHS

Healthcare facilities generate vast amounts of confidential paperwork daily, ranging from patient records to administrative documents. Traditionally, these materials were disposed of through incineration or landfill, creating environmental concerns. As part of CHP’s commitment to a  #GreenerNHS, we have recycling initiatives both at our corporate headquarters and the 308 buildings we manage.

CHP appointed Restore Datashred in 2021 to ensure the safe, secure, management and disposal of confidential waste paper.  Restore Datashred work across 67 sites in the CHP portfolio with an additional seven CHP sites coming on board in December 2023.  

Alan Simper and Sarah Turner from the Facilities Contract team at CHP visited a Restore Datashred facility in Manchester to see how the team processes the confidential waste paper.  Restore Datashred handles 100,000 tonnes of material annually at 11 sites across the UK (

Innovation in recycling and repurposing confidential waste produced at CHP sites is contributing to our Net Zero and sustainability ambitions. 

All our 308 healthcare buildings are involved in local recycling initiatives such as glass, paper, cardboard, and plastic recycling working with tenants, contractors, and NHS organisations.  CHP encourage and provide guidance to staff and tenants to reduce, reuse and recycle and, to reduce their printing. 

A woman and two men standing in front of a Restore Datashred lorry at their paper shredding facility
Sarah Turner and Alan Simper from CHP with Cillian Maye, Corporate Account Director at Restore Datashred.(left to right).

Circularity in action – Waste paper recycling and reuse

The Restore process is an excellent example of circularity; a system based on reuse and regeneration of materials or products, enabling continued production in a sustainable way into a new lifecycle.  The recycled confidential waste is made into hand towels, recycled paper and cardboard products which are used in our healthcare buildings.

This circular approach diverts paper waste from landfills and reduces deforestation to produce other paper products, which also results in reducing the energy required to create paper from raw materials. It aligns with the NHS’s broader sustainability goals and supports NHS best practice in waste management documents released earlier in 2023 by NHS England. 
Read: HTM 07-01 Management and disposal of healthcare waste (March 2023)
NHS Clinical Waste Strategy (March 2023)

CHP’s confidential waste paper impact 2022/23

In 2022/23 67 CHP sites produced
274,242 kg of confidential waste. Which, through Restore’s recycling and repurposing process resulted in:
  • 633m3  saved from landfill.
  • 4,622 trees saved.
  • 164,545 Kg CO2e saved from being released into the atmosphere.
  • 8,775,744 litres of water saved.
a large yellow paper shredding machine with a hopper funnel for paper
Confidential waste paper is finely shredded and baled, sent to processing,, and turned into paper products
Forklift truck with shredded paper bale at Restore Datashred facility
Forklift truck with shreeded paper bale at Restore Datashred facility

This initiative represents a significant step forward in our efforts to embed environmentally responsible activities across CHP. By recycling our confidential documents into usable products, we are aligning ourselves with the NHS net zero targets. As we continue to embed sustainability across CHP, we will be working collaboratively throughout our supply chain to deliver a #GreenerNHS.”

Recycling Paper and Cardboard in the UK

Some facts about recycling paper

  • It takes 24 trees to make one tonne of paper.
  • It takes around 10 litres of water to make just one sheet of A4 paper.
  • It takes 60% less energy to recycle paper than it does to make it from raw materials.
  • In the UK, we use over 9.9 million tonnes of paper each year.
  • We recycle around 80% of paper in the UK.  Paper is one of the most recycled materials in the UK today.
  • Paper and card account for 1/5 of all waste produced in the UK.

Soft FM and Recycling at CHP Health Centres

Soft Facilities Management (Soft FM) is fundamental to providing healthy, safe, compliant, and sustainable healthcare estate. Cleaning, security, reception services and waste management teams are Instrumental in the effective and efficient day-to-day operations of CHP sites to enable excellent clinical care.  The Facilities Contract team alongside the Property and Operations team at CHP monitor and report on suppliers to ensure they are meeting agreed standards.

If tenants at a CHP building wish to work with Restore Datashred, as their confidential paper shredding service, they should contact their CHP Portfolio Manager who can support this change, working with the CHP Facilities Contract team.

CHP Green Plan

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 taking action to ensure it is a success. In 2023/24 we continue to work on our Net Zero Delivery Plan. 
Download: CHP Green Plan, a greener CHP, a greener NHS  (PDF)

Our green vision is to put sustainable development at the heart of our company to ensure our estate and operations are as resilient as the can possibly be. CHP Green Plan

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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