World environment day V2 06.2021

Capturing the attention of 3,500 staff for World Environment Day

Today marks UN World Environment Day and the launch of our Climate Action Toolkit for NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) staff. But what goes into making an engagement campaign like this work? Jayne Bruce, Environment Manager, explains how she and her network colleagues are helping make a difference to the environment through effective staff engagement and communications.

Hi I’m Jayne. I help set the direction of travel of our environmental sustainability (and compliance!) agenda and work across other areas of the business to meet our joint obligations and ambitions. I find working as an Environment Manager for the NHS incredibly interesting and rewarding due to the intrinsic links between the health of people and the health of our planet which is also referenced within the ‘For A Greener NHS’ campaign.

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Our recent announcements

Last year we really started to challenge ourselves to be more ambitious with the targets we set as part of the NHSBSA’s Environment Strategy. We explored which improvements we could make and where we could deliver further carbon reductions.

We did extensive research and talked with our business leaders, via our new Environment Committee, about the climate crisis and the action we could take to further reduce our impact on the environment. We also reflected upon the excellent progress we had made so far towards this goal.

We talked a lot about how this links to the NHSBSA’s organisational vision “to be a catalyst for better health” and our CARE values. We looked at the science and how we are likely heading toward a climate catastrophe; one that will likely have a profound impact on our health, how we live, the quality of our lives, and on our future generations.

Around the ‘virtual’ table, we set a more ambitious target to become Net Zero and to declare a climate emergency to illustrate its urgency. It’s been all hands on deck since then!  

So what have we been doing?

We have many working groups and processes established across the business to ensure sustainability is embedded within everything we do at the NHSBSA. A carbon management working group is established within our Estates team and we have some exciting projects in the pipeline this year which we’re looking forward to sharing at a later date. We have also set the first carbon reduction target within our supply chain.

Our Environment Network is made up of passionate volunteers right across the NHSBSA who have a keen interest in the environment and want to make a positive difference. We’ve also recently ran our first internal environment survey which identified that 96% of the colleagues who responded think it’s important that the NHSBSA reduces its impact on the environment with 88% of those wanting to be involved in doing this.

So there’s the challenge: How can we ensure our people are involved and know how they can make a difference?

We have stepped up to this challenge for UN World Environment Day!

On 5th June to celebrate UN World Environment Day, our Environment Network are launching a new Climate Action Toolkit. The Toolkit is something we’ve been developing alongside the Network and we’re really excited to be at a point to share and explore this with our colleagues! The Toolkit is packed with information and tangible actions to help colleagues understand how they can get involved and make a difference. It has been co-created and peer-reviewed to ensure it is clear for staff and it will be hosted on our intranet so it’s always available for people to explore.

The toolkit is packed with all sorts of useful, actionable advice. From introducing our sustainable travel hierarchy and tips to save energy and water at work and at home, to guidance on recycling and ideas to help staff reduce how much they’re wasting, it all adds up to support the NHSBSA’s Environment Strategy and goal of Net-Zero.

The NHSBSA is made up of over 3,500 staff. If we can get as many of them as possible engaged in protecting the environment and contributing towards the Greener NHS campaign, we have a duty to make that happen.

Our challenge to staff for World Environment Day is to explore the toolkit and select one action they can take to make a difference and our Network Members will be on hand to help. Throughout the week following World Environment Day, our Network members will be introducing colleagues to, and exploring, the Climate Action Toolkit by breaking it down into bitesize chunks and focusing on a different section each day. We will continue this level of engagement throughout the year by continuing to run a range of campaigns to shine the spotlight on different areas of the toolkit continuing the dialogue and engagement with our colleagues.

By having an informative toolkit that’s easily available to our people all year round and through continuing our engagement activities, we hope to increase understanding of the climate emergency and increase the level of climate action across our business.