Guy’s and St Thomas’ is one of the busiest NHS Foundation Trusts in the UK, employing around 10,000 people and serving over 850,000 patients every year. It consists of St Thomas’ Hospital, founded in 1172 and based at its current site on Westminster Bridge Road since 1871, and Guy’s Hospital, sited just south of London Bridge since its foundation in 1721. As such, it has a highly diverse property portfolio including the second tallest hospital building in the world.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has worked with the Carbon Trust over the past four years with the goal of reducing its CO2 emissions by 10%. Thanks to an approach which combined high-tech and common sense adjustments across both sites, this target has been exceeded, with the Trust actually achieving an annual 20% reduction.
The Trust was quick to recognise that steps could be taken to improve the efficiency of its estate. By 2004, it was spending roughly £10 million a year on energy, a cost that was growing rapidly due to rising energy prices. This, combined with the announcement of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, NHS targets to reduce energy consumption in hospitals, and proposals being made by the Mayor of London to make the capital cut its carbon footprint, gave the Trust the incentive to strengthen its approach to energy use.
In 2007, it launched its Earthcare and Environment engagement and awareness campaign, and over the next 18 months invested £2m in energy efficiency projects, such as upgrading of boilers, insulation and lighting. In 2009, it installed the largest combined heat and power (CHP) capacity in the NHS.
Keen to keep up the momentum, the Trust also signed up to our Public Sector Carbon Management programme in 2007, setting a realistic target of achieving a 10% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2011, with a longer-term aspiration of stretching this to a 20% reduction by 2015; double the NHS target for the same period.
As a result of the work conducted under the plan, as well as further activity inspired by the action, the Trust has actually achieved a 20% year on year reduction in CO2 emissions and cut its energy bills by over £1.7 million a year. In recognition of these achievements, the hospital has not only gained the Carbon Trust Standard but also become a Platinum Award member of the Mayor of London’s Green500 scheme.