Energy project at St Barts wins Ashden award

23rd May 2014


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Lisa Palframan

Environmental charity Global Action Plan (GAP) has scooped the Ashden award for behavior change for its work on an energy-saving project at St Barts hospital

GAP was praised by Ashden’s judges for linking patient care with energy-saving behaviours and helping save the London NHS Trust £100,000 a year on its energy bill.

In a project called “Operation TLC”, GAP asked hospital workers to turn off equipment and lights, and close doors, with the latter highlighting how staff actions can help patients to rest better, by reducing background noise, for example.

The behaviour change project has seen the number of lights being switched off increase by 40% and the number of doors left open fall by 18%. As a result, the number of incidents where patients’ sleep has been interrupted has fallen by one-third. At the same time, St Barts has reduced its electricity consumption by more than 1,000MWh a year and cut its annual carbon footprint by 500 tonnes.

“With impressive financial savings this initiative has huge potential to be rolled out across the health sector, with benefits for patients, planet and the public purse,” said the Ashden UK judges.

GAP was one of 14 winners announced at the Ashden award ceremony last night (22 May). The annual event recognises outstanding examples of organisations in the UK and overseas that are helping to reduce energy consumption and encourage the uptake of renewable technologies.

Other winners this year include Hemcrete Projects, which manufactures sustainable building materials from hemp that can cut CO2 emissions from new buildings of up to 17%, and Ecotricity, which picked up the sustainable travel award for its work to create a network of fast charging points for electric cars across the UK motorway network.

“The latest IPCC reports have shown more clearly than ever before that we need to take urgent, collective action to slow the pace of climate change before it is too late,” said Ashden founder and director Sarah Butler-Sloss.

“While this is a time of great challenge, it is also a time of great opportunity. Ashden winners across the UK are showing that with ingenuity and a range of different approaches, huge progress can be made in building a low-carbon future that delivers many benefits, including improved health and wellbeing as well as creating jobs.”

Case studies of all the award winners are available at: ashden.org

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