Take a look at last year’s winners to help you put together a winning entry

2009 Winner - Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust

Birmingham and Solihull put itself forward for last year’s Good Corporate Citizenship award with a sustainability programme that had already reduced CO2 emissions by 440 tonnes, achieved domestic waste recycling levels of 60 per cent and seen new builds developed with on site renewable energy.

“The challenge facing large acute hospitals relates to their size, the scale of their operations and turnover of patients,” says Neil Cross, sustainable development and energy manager. “But for a trust like ours things are different. We have more than 100 properties, in many cases these house units supporting patients to move back to independent community living.”

“One of the things we were looking to highlight in our entry, was how we engage those patients in the activities and practices that support our approach to sustainability and the environment. We seek to help them understand the values of conserving water and energy, and recycling. It’s sustainability close to home for service users, the majority of whom are trying to get by on benefits,” he adds.

The team the trust sent to London to make a presentation to the judges included frontline clinician Elaine Massey. “She was able to describe what our strategy meant to her and the service users and how she builds key sustainability messages into her day to day work,” says Mr Cross. “It helped us get over to the judges that this wasn’t what you might call just a corporate shirt and tie entry but something that is having a real impact on people’s lives.”

What judges want

  • Commissioning practices that strengthen local communities, improve health outcomes and enhance the environment
  • Reducing water and energy use and carbon emissions, and minimising material waste
  • Sustainable and ethical procurement of goods and services to use NHS buying power to secure social and environmental benefits
  • Improving access to NHS facilities by active travel and public transport, thereby reducing pollution
  • Sustainable design, construction and/or refurbishment of buildings
  • Developing local skills and providing routes into employment for disadvantaged groups

Sponsored by: Sustainable Development Commission, NHS Sustainable Development Unit