Salix Finance is celebrating a significant milestone after achieving £100m worth of committed funding within the NHS to enable savings of over £24m annually.
Salix, a government-funded organisation which provides interest-free loans to the public sector to improve energy efficiency, has now contributed more than £100.8m by supporting over 600 energy reduction projects across 70 English NHS trusts in the last decade, with future savings of up to £391m over the lifetime of the energy efficient technologies.
The work undertaken by the Salix NHS programme aligns with the landmark 2016 Lord Carter report (1), which investigates how operational performance and efficiency could be improved in English NHS acute hospitals. The report revealed that the sector spends more than £500m a year on energy bills, highlighting the huge potential for significant cost and energy savings to be made through the strategic management of estates.
Following the findings of the Carter report, an annual target of at least £36m of savings was projected if trusts were to reduce their energy consumption. The energy efficiency projects enabled through Salix funding will contribute to this target, with nearly £25m of annual energy savings already estimated and with further opportunities to expand upon this achievement. In addition to addressing the potential energy savings within the NHS, Salix are taking widespread action to reduce carbon emissions across the UK public sector as a whole.
The Sustainable Development Unit’s Strategy for the Health and Social Care System 2014 – 2020 outlines ambitious aspirations to achieve a 34% reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from building energy use, transport and procurement of goods and services by 2020 (2), with the NHS already demonstrating a carbon emissions reduction of 18.5% between 2007 and 2017 (3). Salix’s contribution to this strategy has also been noteworthy and has allowed the NHS to lower carbon emissions by more than 108,000 tonnes annually.
Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust were able to utilise Salix funding to develop their estate and to support their carbon management plans in line with these targets and the influential 2008 Climate Change Act (4). Clare Topping, Energy and Sustainability Manager at the Trust said: “The loans from Salix have allowed us to access energy efficiency measures sooner than would otherwise be the case. Not only has this helped to keep us on track to achieving our 2020 Carbon Target but we have also improved the environment for staff”.
Sameen Khan, NHS Programme Manager at Salix Finance said: “We’re very pleased to have helped the NHS to achieve these remarkable energy and carbon savings. The £100m we have funded in the sector to date has reached a third of the NHS Trusts and there is still considerable potential.
Simple measures such as upgrading inefficient heating, lighting and ventilation equipment can provide significant long-term financial and maintenance savings for organisations and help to mitigate against the effects of climate change. We are striving to continue this success and to engage with more NHS Trusts. The opportunities in the NHS are expansive and we’re very excited to be able to play our part in taking action towards the reduction of the NHS’s carbon footprint.”
- Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations An independent report for the Department of Health by Lord Carter of Coles, February 2016. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/499229/Operational_productivity_A.pdf
- Sustainable, Resilient, Healthy People & Places: A Sustainable Development Strategy for the NHS, Public Health and Social Care system. Produced by the Sustainable Development Unit, for Public Health England and NHS England, in January 2014. https://www.sduhealth.org.uk/policy-strategy/engagement-resources.aspx
- Reducing the Use of Natural Resources in Health and Social Care: 2018 Report. Produced by the Sustainable Development Unit, for Public Health England and NHS England, in 2018. https://www.sduhealth.org.uk/policy-strategy/reporting/natural-resource-footprint-2018.aspx
- Climate Change Act 2008. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/27/contents