Sustainability - what we are doing

What are we doing to be more sustainable?

Our key areas of focus for sustainability are:

  • Embedding Green Impact into our organisational culture
  • Improving our energy efficiency
  • Implementing our lighting responsibility plan
  • Green procurement
  • Sourcing food and drink responsibly and avoiding use of plastic where possible
  • Reducing waste and increasing recycling
  • Promoting sustainable transport
  • Purchasing sustainably
  • Reducing our use of paper
  • Reducing prescribing
  • Implementing the NUS/RCGP Green Impact Toolkit
  • Supporting health and wellbeing

Here are some examples of work we are undertaking on these key areas:

Embedding Green Impact into our organisational culture
  • Sustainability is one of our core values
  • We ask staff to reflect on how they have helped sustainability as part of our appraisals
  • We ask about sustainability at interviews
  • Green Impact is a standing item on agendas for meetings
  • We regularly ask our staff to feedback ideas for improvement
  • Our weekly staff newsletter promotes Green ideas, events in the community and ways we can all take action
  • We work collaboratively with our local community 
Improving our energy efficiency
  • We ensure temperatures are regulated in the building - through the use of an air cooling system and underfloor heating 
  • Radiators are turned down where possible 
  • Equipment is turned off at the end of each day 
  • Lighting is on timers but lights can also be turned off when not needed 
  • Energy - gas and electric - is provided via green energy suppliers
  • Use of water heaters for making tea and coffee, instead of kettles
Implementing our lighting responsibility plan
  • All lights are fitted with sensors
  • Staff take responsibility for switching lights off when not needed or when leaving a room at the end of a session / day 
  • Clear labelling on light switches to make it easier to turn areas of lighting off 
  • Staff responsible for closing building at the end of the day undertake a building sweep to ensure all area lighting is turned off 
  • Working on a plan to replace all current lights with LED lighting over next 5 years 
Green Procurement
  • We only buy Green Energy
  • Several of our team have completed sustainable procurement training
  • We ask our suppliers about their environmental policies
  • We have reviewed our office supplies and made many swtiches, which include purchasing sustainable pencils and paper 
  • We purchase eco friendly washing up liquid and use refill bottles to reduce plastic use
Sourcing food and drink responsibly
  • Commitment to sourcing Fairtrade / local / healthy refreshments when possible
  • Avoiding food products that do not use sustainable palm oil 
  • Purchasing organic milk from local Tytherington Milk Station
  • Offering plant based oat milk alternatives at events
  • Raising awareness with the public about Faitrade, by supporting Fairtrade Fortnight each March 
  • Sharing food as a team, with regular 'bring and share' lunch days 
  • Installation of refill water bottle station for staff and public use 
  • No longer providing plastic cups at water station (with provision of reusable bamboo cups for patients who forget their water bottle) 
  • Providing tea and coffee for staff which is Fairtrade
  • Reducing single use plastic 
  • Sourcing plastic free tea bags
  • Using refill bottles for washing up liquid
  • We are part of Refill Frome and provide staff with eco friendly water bottles to welcome them to the Practice 
  • Encouraging staff and patients to use our water refill station 
  • Working with our Youth PPG and Frome College to promote reusable menstrual products to reduce plastic waste
Reducing waste and increasing recycling
  • Ensuring only confidential waste is collected for shredding
  • All other paper recycled 
  • Clearly labelled bins in clinic rooms for domestic / confidential / sharps / clinical waste 
  • Collection of plastic milk bottle tops for Air Ambulance charity 
  • Recycling plastic bottles
  • Recycling of other materials, including cardboard, printer toner cartridges and batteries 
  • Encouraging patients to consider switching inhaler use to more sustainable version and encouraging recycling of inhalers at certain pharmacies in Frome (St Aldhelms, Boots, ASDA) who take part in the GSK Asthma Inhaler Recycling Scheme 
  • See also reducing use of paper below 
  • See also reducing prescribing below 
Promoting sustainable transport
  • Implementing our travel plan,including promoting walking, cycling and car sharing
  • Implementing the Cycle To Work scheme 
Reducing our use of paper
  • Working towards being a paperless Practice where possible 
  • Ceasing use of fax machines 
  • Promoting health education messages to patients via patient information screens in waiting areas, to reduce the use of leaflets 
  • Setting photocopiers to print double sided by default 
  • Photocopiers are able to scan and email documents, to reduce printing 
  • System in place to collect non-confidential documents printed only on one side so this paper can be used as note pads
  • System in place to collect and reuse envelopes
  • Email signatures include the 'think before you print' logo 
  • Patient communication uses paperless systems where possible 
  • Registration packs have been reviewed and condensed to reduce paper used
  • Online forms being introduced to website and the use of these to increase 
Reducing prescribing
  • Where possible, the Practice is reducing polypharmacy and over prescribing
  • Reducing prescribing of opiates - we are working with patients to review their opiod use and reduce where possible
  • Reducing prescribing of over the counter medicines 
  • Where appropriate, switching prescriptions for inhalers to dry powder inhalers (more information on green inhalers is available here.) 
Implementing the NUS/RCGP Green Impact Toolkit
Supporting Health and Wellbeing