What do we mean by sustainability?

Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Newcastle University’s definition defines it clearly:

“Enough, for all, forever”.

We all need essential resources to live e.g., food, water, heating, electricity, and health care, demands for which impact significantly on our planet’s precious ecosystems. To meet these demands now and in the future, we need to be more efficient and fairer in the way we use the planet’s resources.

How are we building Bridge Referrals sustainably?

The three pillars of sustainable development are: environment, social and economic. Sustainable development means engaging in practices that preserve the health of each of the three pillars for the well-being of people now and into the future.

Essentially, we want to build a thriving economic practice, that is a nice place to work where our staff are valued and where we utilise resources efficiently to minimise our impact on the environment.

Sustainable build development practices:

  • Repurposing and recycling waste from the build
  • Monitoring of waste production
  • Renewable energy source to power the build
  • Using local companies
  • Supply chain sustainability – using products from companies that consider environmental and social impact of the supply chain, raw material sourcing, production, and transportation
  • Installation of air heat pumps
  • Future proofing roof for solar panels
  • Low volume cisterns and aerator taps to conserve water
  • LED lighting with motion sensors fitted throughout building
  • Insulation of building to avoid energy loss
  • Collection of grey-water for landscaping

How is Bridge Referrals going to be run sustainably?

We believe that incorporating sustainability principles into our business and daily clinical work will produce environmental and economic benefits for our staff, our clients, our community, and our planet. A continuous sustainability programme within the business which allows meaningful auditing will be established to raise engagement and drive initiative results.

Business sustainability practices:

  • Renewable energy suppliers
  • Installation of high energy efficient appliances and equipment
  • Strict waste management hierarchy
  • Streamlined waste segregation to enhance recycling
  • Signage around clinic to optimise waste streams
  • Repurposing and reusing where possible
  • Waste reduction – sourcing alternatives to single use plastic and unnecessary packaging
  • Bio-bins as an alternative to hard plastic
  • Enhanced capnography to reduce use of volatile halogenated anaesthetic gases (greenhouse gases)
  • Fluid pumps with programmed calculations
  • Reusable textiles – cloth scrub hats, towels, surgical gowns
  • Scrubs and workwear made from recycled materials
  • Use of recycled plastic syringes
  • Paperless communications – online accounting, HR systems, client accounts, anaesthetic charts etc
  • Staff and client hot/cold water dispensing machines to conserve water
  • Staff reusable drinking bottles
  • No single use plastic bottle policy
  • Procurement of supplies from local companies with supply chain sustainability
  • Audited drug and consumable supplies to ensure not overstocking and to reduce waste
  • Responsible drug usage and of cleaning products
  • Steam cleaners – less chemical environmental contamination
  • Enhanced natural environment surrounding building to increase biodiversity and attract pollinators
  • Natural green areas set aside for staff and clients

Future Sustainable practices:

  • Wormery for kitchen food scraps
  • Creating a travel plan
  • Sustainable transport of personnel and animal solutions involving carbon offset incentives

The efforts of one individual or one family or one business matter, as it is with the accumulation of singular actions that collectively make a difference.