Hospital shortlisted for environmental award
An extensive project to encourage West Suffolk Hospital staff to find sustainable methods of travelling to work has been shortlisted for a special environmental award.
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been named as a “Creating the Greenest County” finalist in the category of “Business: Transport”. The award is designed to celebrate businesses which have made an exceptional effort to reduce emissions from transport, such as by reducing business mileage or encouraging staff to find more environmentally friendly ways of reaching work.
West Suffolk has been shortlisted after introducing a travel plan designed to improve transport management while minimising the impact of hospital-generated traffic on the environment and local community.
A range of initiatives were introduced to support the plan, including:
an online car share scheme and dedicated car sharers’ car park, with 168 staff registering for a permit to date
improved cycle facilities
modernised shower and changing facilities for those cycling or walking to work
cycle to work schemes
free parking at the rugby club and a free shuttle bus to the hospital site
a “car free day”, on which staff leave their cars at home and find an alternative route to work
a new “travel to work” intranet site, which brings all information about the options for reaching the hospital into one place
Marcia Riddington, travel plan coordinator at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “We’re pleased to have been shortlisted for this award in recognition of our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of travelling to the hospital.
“We have carried out extensive work to reduce the number of cars coming onto the hospital site with the triple aim of relieving parking problems, improving safety and working towards government targets for reducing carbon emissions. The schemes were all introduced following consultation with our staff, offer a choice of alternative methods for getting to work and are are flexible enough to adapt to different shift patterns and personal circumstances.
“These initiatives have had a significant impact on reducing single occupancy car journeys, but we recognise that there is still more to be done. We will continue to work closely with our staff to look for further ways of minimising our carbon footprint to protect the environment for the future.”
The awards will be presented at a ceremony at Wherstead Park in Ipswich on Thursday 22 March