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East Coast Community Healthcare receives environmental award for cutting its carbon footprint

PUBLISHED: 15:30 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:30 18 December 2017

Deputy head of estates and facilities Sharon Warner with members of her team who helped ECCH achieve the environmental accreditation. Picture: ECCH.

Deputy head of estates and facilities Sharon Warner with members of her team who helped ECCH achieve the environmental accreditation. Picture: ECCH.

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A Lowestoft-based social enterprise is one of only a handful of healthcare providers in the country to have been recognised by the British Standards Institute for reducing its environmental impact.

East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH), which provides community health services across Norfolk and Waveney, has been granted ISO14001:2015 status – a national standard which confirms ECCH’s commitment to cut its carbon footprint and energy consumption and to recycle waste as part of an environmental management system.

ECCH’s estates and facilities team undertook training and worked for more than a year to achieve the accreditation, including implementing a number of new measures to change the way the organisation operates.

ECCH’s new headquarters at Hamilton House in Lowestoft have been designed with environmentally friendly initiatives in mind such as additional thermal insulation, dual flush toilets, virtual training and video conferencing facilities to save attendees travelling to the building, LED sensor lighting and streamlined recycling processes.

ECCH now purchases printer paper from sustainable sources, recycles ink and toner cartridges, and sources the most fuel efficient work vehicles. Procurement occurs locally, wherever possible, to support the local economy and ECCH is incentivising staff to use greener transport including offering subsidised cycle purchase schemes, with the chief executive Jonathan Williams and finance director Simon Bragg leading the way by cycling to work whenever possible.

Staff also receive weekly ‘green’ tips which are posted on the organisation’s intranet to encourage them to consider the impact of their behaviour on the environment and make positive changes.

Deputy head of estates and facilities Sharon Warner, who led the initiative, said: “We are delighted to have achieved this. It has taken a lot of thought and work to reach this stage. It is evidence of how much we value our environment and wish to behave in a responsible way to protect it.”

Mr Williams added: “This award reflects the hard work and effort of our staff who have helped to develop an environmental management system that not only suits the needs of our organisation but also supports the national NHS sustainability strategy. The fact that we are one of only a handful of healthcare providers in the country to receive this prestigious accreditation is something we can all be very proud of and we will continue our efforts going forward.”

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