Understand your business emissions
1) What causes emissions
Direct carbon emissions produced by the health and social care industry:
- energy use – electricity and gas for lighting, heating and equipment
- general waste – when it is not recycled and ends up at landfill sites
- transport – using petrol or diesel vehicles to get to work or deliver services
2) Calculate your emissions
Use a carbon calculator to work out your business’s carbon footprint. This is measured in tonnes, over a year.
3) Estimate the cost of your emissions
4) Sign up to the SME climate commitment
Make a climate declaration to show customers you are committed to reducing emissions.
1) Support in your sector
You can get help and advice from the following organisations:
- the Sustainable Healthcare Coalition – promotes sustainable practices in healthcare through the collaboration of its members
- the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare – offers strategic input and consultancy on sustainable healthcare research
- Greener NHS – shares ideas on how to reduce the impact on the environment, save money and reach net zero
- UK Health Alliance on Climate Change – brings together health professionals to advocate for responses to climate change
2) Support in your region
The following grants, schemes and loan programmes are available in North East England:
- Durham’s North East Business Support Fund gives SMEs up to £3,200 in matching funds for business improvements
- Northumberland’s North East Business Support Fund gives SMEs up to £2,800 in matching funds for business improvements
- North of Tyne Growth Fund gives SMEs up to 30% in matching funds when they plan to invest at least £67,000 in premises improvements and other capital costs. Must be located in Newcastle, North Tyneside or Northumberland.
- Tyne and Wear’s North East Business Support Fund gives SMEs up to £2,800 in matching funds for business improvements
Actions you can take right now
1) Use less energy at your workplace
Quick, low-cost measures include:
- lighting – use LED bulbs for greater efficiency
- heating – put your thermostat on a timer and seal your windows for extra insulation
- office or health equipment – try to turn off and unplug devices when they’re not being used
2) Change your energy tariff
3) Switch to a smart meter
This will allow you to see and control how much energy you use. Find out how.
4) Manage your waste
Longer term actions
1) Making changes to your workplace
If you are the legal owner, there are a number of long-term measures you can take to improve energy efficiency.
Improving insulation and windows
You can make long-term savings on energy bills by insulating your workplace and replacing old windows.
You can also make significant long-term savings by installing renewable sources of energy.
Get training in energy efficiency
You can train your team to be aware of energy efficiency in the workplace. Find a course
2) Reducing transport emissions
Over 25% of the UK’s carbon emissions are caused by transport. You can take measures to reduce the impact.
If you use a work vehicle, you can also reduce fuel costs by switching to an electric vehicle (EV). You would be exempt from road tax, congestion charges and parking fees in certain areas.
1) Choose greener ‘upstream’ suppliers and products
- use suppliers that measure and reduce carbon
- help your suppliers with carbon reduction projects
- buy products that take less energy to make, transport and operate
2) Reduce emissions ‘downstream’ of your business
- make products that take less energy to make, transport and operate
- reduce water consumption and waste disposal needs
- make investments in lower carbon financial products
- give incentives for lower emission activities in leased assets or franchises
3) Certify your supply chain action
The Carbon Trust offers the following verification schemes:
Share your progress
You should share your progress once you’ve done both of the following:
- worked out a benchmark of emissions
- started to take action