Sustainability is a broad topic. In basic terms, it is the preservation, and the creation of systems to reduce depletion, of natural resources, in order to maintain ecological balance, and continue development at a certain rate or level.
The focus for one organisation to the next in addressing sustainability can be vastly different. With a shift towards a more mutual NHS, and in supporting health and wellbeing outcomes, Sustainability is being used as a framework to make healthcare Services more socially, culturally and environmentally sound. This can include identifying ways to improve air quality, noise pollution, water and flood management, and waste managment to name but a few, as part of healthcare management and delivery.
Because pressures and motivations vary from one health care organization to another depending on location and circumstance, each organization must find its own reasons for undertaking a sustainability initiative and then establish the business case for doing so. While “it’s the right thing to do” may be enough to get organizations started on a journey to sustainability, at some point, health care leaders will have to explain to their stakeholders why it is worth the time, expense, and effort. For sustainability initiatives to be sustainable themselves, health care leaders must have clear business reasons for pursuing them.
At Trees for Wellbeing we embrace a holistic approach to sustainability, integrating Social, Cultural, Ecological & Economic principles, by helping healthcare services to reconnect their staff, patients and the wider community with their green spaces, and recognise and utilise their local environment as a local healthcare resource in its own right.
~ By Beth Morgan | Project Coordinator