Our January guest blog is written by Kate Straznikiewicz, exploring the connection between sustainability, healthcare and behaviour change in Manchester. Kate is an Administration Assistant for ERNDIM as part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT).
Sustainability, healthcare and behaviour change in Manchester
Working for the largest NHS Trust in England, I have been amazed by the mindful approach of MFT employees towards ecology, environment and sustainability. It has been apparent that they are people who genuinely care about our Planet.
Hundreds of MFT employees are avoiding car journeys to work and opt-in for the bike ride instead. Even in the rain, which in Manchester happens almost daily! There are recycling bins in the staff rooms, people bringing their reuseable cup from home, and always remember to turn the lights off at the end of a working day.
With thousands of employees, MFT Green Rewards can make a huge difference in people’s attitude. The scheme incentivises positive environmental behaviour but also with repetition, it helps people to develop new, useful environmental-friendly habits. My personal favourite, which I believe helps not only the environment but also increases fitness, is choosing stairs over lifts!
Sustainability across Manchester
According to the Compare the Market study based on air quality, recycling rates, number of parks, the number of times terms like “electric cars” are searched, Manchester is 5th greenest city in the UK and out of the top five, has the largest area of green spaces.
The surroundings of MFT are also enormously motivating. The parks and green areas around the hospital, and the proximity to the University of Manchester (which also has its own Zero Waste shop led by the students) help people to change their behaviour for the better.
Finding sustainable solutions
With rising awareness of climate change, environmental disasters, and the impact of both, more people are choosing to follow ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and opting for more sustainable solutions. People are getting involved in their local areas such as ‘Repair Cafés’, Zero waste shops, and volunteering in gardening projects. The RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford is the biggest in the world and marked as a top alternative and ethical holiday destination in 2020.
Sustainability and healthcare in 2020
There is still work to do in terms of sustainability and healthcare in Manchester but taking small steps will always be better than taking none. If similar actions were introduced across Manchester, there is a high chance of changing behaviour and making a real difference.
Sustainable living is not only wishful thinking but it is a real, achievable goal.
Kate Straznikiewicz, Administration Assistant at MFT
Green Rewards at MFT
People are at the heart of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s (MFT) sustainability strategy; but engaging 20,000 staff across nine hospitals presents a unique challenge.
Jump provides Green Rewards for MFT, an engagement programme to boost sustainability and wellbeing for all employees. So far, they have completed over 18,000 positive actions and avoided 17 tonnes of CO2.