My research project
Facilitating sustainable consumption practices in a hospital trust: a study of energy and everyday consumables
Healthcare is responsible for 5% of carbon emissions globally. In the UK NHS contributes to 20% of the overall public sector emissions. Two thirds of these emissions is attributed to energy use and procurement of goods and services with demand projected to rise leading to further increase in the use of resources. However, NHS has also committed to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2040. A service orientation of the sector means that much of the future carbon savings will come from reducing and changing patters of consumption (as oppose to production), such as alternative models of care and everyday working practices.
My research examines processes of facilitating sustainable consumption in acute hospitals using Social Practice Theory based framework applied to everyday working practices of hospital employees. The first stage of the project involves investigating opportunities for reducing waste and energy use across four types of clinical areas: acute, inpatient, outpatient wards and theatres. The second stage is action research, which examines ways of facilitating change. I discuss which tools, skills and meanings are needed for establishing sustainable practices. Based on the initial findings, I also reflect on what the future transition to sustainable consumption may look like in the context of competing priorities, such as increasing demand for single use items as a result of the pandemic. I also note how reducing environmental impacts of consumption can help mitigate future risks in a form of more local procurement, reducing waste and the use of renewable resources.
The research is sponsored by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
University roles and responsibilities
- Conduct research and undertake projects full-time at the placement organisation
- Occasionally deliver presentations to MSc students at CES
- Assist with supervision of MSc students at their industrial 6-week placements
Affiliations and memberships
Business, industry and community links
The organisation is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and pursuing more sustainable ways to deliver care across Hampshire.