About Us

Environment and sustainability

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our health and well-being. It’s likely to have a significant impact for health in the North East.


As the largest employer in the city region, the Newcastle Hospitals Trust has a key role to play in reducing carbon emissions and supporting local people to adapt to climate change.

A sustainable future for the Trust and the wider NHS will be one that embraces partnerships and innovation, and identifies ways of driving the highest quality clinical care through environmental improvements.

Latest news

Keep up-to-date about our work and achivements on our latest news page.

In these pages

You can find out about what we are doing to tackle the challenge of climate change:

What is sustainability?

The Government defined sustainability in “Securing the Future” 2005, which states that the five guiding principles of sustainability are:

  • Living within environmental limits
  • Ensuring a strong, healthy and just society
  • Achieving a sustainable economy
  • Promoting good governance
  • Using sound science responsibly

We are committed to this vision of sustainability for the NHS. 

Sustainability aims

The Newcastle Hospitals Trust will:

  • Recognise our responsibility to mitigate and prepare for impacts of climate change
  • Promote the health and well-being of staff, patients and visitors through behaviour change
  • Promote environmental stewardship and the responsible use of resources to minimise costs and maximise funds available for patient care
  • Work collaboratively within the NHS and the wider community to promote sustainability
  • Embed environmentally sustainable practices and understanding of sustainability within the Trust
  • Develop a process to measure and report progress on performance

Why do we need a Sustainability Strategy?

Changes to our climate are already having a significant impact on the health of our population - leading clinicians agree that climate change is a challenge we all face. As the largest healthcare provider in the region, and as the largest employer in the city region, we are facing up to this challenge and are committed to tackle the issue head on.

We need a Sustainability Strategy to ensure that our key sustainability aims and objectives are clearly defined, and effectively implemented and managed. Only then will we be able to effectively reduce our carbon emissions.

The strategy aims to:

  • Record baseline emissions information to identify future carbon savings year on year.
  • Establish and implement a Resource Reduction Plan (RRP)
  • Monitor and measure sustainability.

Our Sustainability Working Group led the development of the strategy, and ensured that all areas of the Trust were represented in the final strategy document.

We recognise the need to behave as a good 'corporate citizen', and not as a hostile intruder into the area we serve. So we are taking action to reduce our impact on the local environment. We have already installed Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants at the RVI and Freeman hospitals - an NHS first which have helped us reduce our Carbon Dioxide production since 2001.

Our Sustainability Strategy

Our Sustainability Strategy highlights key areas for us to focus on, including:

  • responsibility and accountability
  • environmental legislation
  • energy management
  • procurement
  • travel and transport
  • water and waste management
  • design and operation of buildings.

Our action plan sets out actions for the Trust as part of our ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions. We also need to engage with and get the support of Trust staff, patients, visitors, suppliers and contractors, and the wider public.

Key actions

Key actions include:

  • Setting a new carbon reduction target
  • Establishing a sustainability group
  • Producing a communications strategy
  • Enhancing the management of data about emissions and waste
  • A review of the outstanding measures, success and barriers to progress in our carbon management programme, followed by implementation.

We are ensuring that sufficient focus is placed on this important initiative, as there is a clear link between sustainability and high quality public health care.

Full strategy

You can access the full sustainability strategy.

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