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Health workers in drive to cut carbon emissions

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Health workers in drive to cut carbon emissions

THOUSANDS of health workers across Scarborough and the rest of North Yorkshire will be helping to reduce their organisations' carbon emissions by a quarter over the next five years.

The promise has been made by the board of NHS North Yorkshire and York when it approved a Sustainable Development and Carbon Management Plan – which sets out how the PCT and North Yorkshire and York Community and Mental Health Services will tackle their responsibilities towards climate change.

Kevin McAleese, chairman of NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: “Whilst carbon reduction is everybody’s responsibility, it’s important that the NHS takes a lead in these matters as there is a clear link to improving health as well as building a sustainable future for everyone.

“Our Carbon Management Plan sets out how we, as an organisation, plan to reduce our emissions, how we can influence others to reduce their emissions and how we should prepare for the effects of climate change.

“The Board has been supportive of the development of this plan, and is keen to see real changes over the next five years so that we can meet our 25 per cent reduction in baseline emissions.”

The reduction by 2014, based on measurements between 2008 and 2009, could save the organisation almost £7.2million over the five years. NHS North Yorkshire and York has been working with the Carbon Trust and has already taken forward a number of building and IT-related projects that will contribute to a reduction in overall carbon emissions in two key areas:

l Reducing waste, energy consumption and water in buildings

l Reducing carbon emissions by reducing the level of travel.

Staff recently took part in the launch of a Carbon Management Programme when they were invited to see how carbon-friendly their driving skills were on a special car simulator.

The Driving Challenge encouraged road-users to think about their driving style and to adopt habits that will help them to use less fuel on the road, saving them money and reducing their carbon emissions.

NHS North Yorkshire and York’s Sustainable Development and Carbon Management Plan follows the national strategy on reducing carbon within the NHS which outlines the case for the NHS taking a lead in carbon reduction as the biggest employer in Europe.

It also points out real health threats from climate change, that reducing carbon emissions saves the NHS money and is cost-effective.

Source: Scarborough Evening News