Empowering MLCSU staff to make personal and professional pledges for a sustainable future
A staff campaign to mark the two-year anniversary of the NHS commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2040, resulted in 63 staff pledges and increased awareness of the green agenda.
In support of the NHS staff engagement campaign, Healthier Planet, Healthier People, MLCSU committed to reducing its carbon footprint by dedicating an entire month to green issues.
Known as Go Green Month, the ambitious campaign encouraged and empowered staff and teams to make their own personal and professional ‘green’ pledges. The campaign successfully engaged staff across the organisation and as many as 63 video and written pledges were made on a dedicated page on the staff intranet. Pledges ranged from simple personal changes, such as stopping buying single-use plastic products, to systemic professional changes such as adopting greener digital solutions to encourage greener ways of working.
Aims of the campaign
Other aims of the campaign – which took place in October 2022 – were to raise awareness of the wider Greener NHS campaign and MLCSU’s own Green Plan, and bring people together to share ideas and tips on how they could reduce their carbon footprint.
To do this, we created green branding assets across the staff intranet – Nugget – and on the staff Twitter channel. We also shared articles, tips and resources across a range of platforms, including Nugget and Microsoft Teams. In total, we produced 18 Nugget articles, eight Tweets (with 570 impressions), five staff blogs, and hosted eight Go Green spotlight sessions (led by our Green Champions) with 88 attendees. Blogs ranged in subjects from vegan diets to simple IT solutions – such as sending fewer emails.
Go Green Month followed the NHS’ recognition that as one of the main carbon contributors in the UK, the NHS can make an impactful change by reducing its own carbon footprint. Healthier Planet, Healthier People also recognises that health and climate change are interlinked and that making conscious choices to tackle climate change will improve the nation’s health.
CSUs are not legally bound to create a ‘Green Plan’ but as part of the NHS, the MLCSU has a responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint. As part of this commitment, we created a Sustainability Group of colleagues from across the organisation and led by Chief Information Officer Debbie Bywater to create a Green Plan for MLCSU.
As part of this plan, MLCSU is committing to reducing its carbon footprint by 80 per cent by 2028 – 2032. To achieve this, MLCSU must decrease its carbon footprint by 15 per cent year-on-year. This will help contribute to the NHS’ broader target of reducing its carbon footprint by 80 per cent before 2040.
Making a difference
Go Green Month is part of this wider aim to engage staff in making personal and professional commitments to reduce our carbon footprint. Small actions from a 1.3 million-strong workforce will add up to make a big difference.