Carbon Awareness Training

HI NENC in collaboration with the North East and North Cumbria ICB have declared a climate emergency highlighting the significance of reaching Net Zero. Initially the UK Government set a national Net Zero achievement Target of 2050 however, North East and North Cumbria have published further ambitions of achieving Net Zero Plus by 2040. To achieve this a collaborative effort is required between HI NENC and those who we work with. It is vital as an organisation that Net Zero and the environmental impact of innovation is being taken into account across the workforce to increase the consideration of the planetary impact when starting new projects or rolling out innovations. In order to increase awareness in HI NENC about the net zero targets and the impact the climate crisis has on human health the Sustainability Team have delivered a series of in house training sessions to provide education around this important subject area.

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Project Dates

Project Start 24/10/2023
Project End Ongoing


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I feel this training raised my awareness and helped to educate me on a subject that I had little knowledge of and potentially wouldn't have done research in.
A delegate
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The current climate crisis threatens the planet and globally we are nearing the 1.5 degree surface temperature threshold. Breaching this limit holds consequences including increased extreme weather, risks to human health and Sea level rises resulting in extinction of ecosystems, wildlife and land mass. The UK government is committed to tackling climate change and the NHS responded by being the first national health service to make commitments to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero, which it aims to do by 2045. The faculty of public health estimates healthcare, and the delivery of healthcare has a carbon footprint of 4% globally furthermore, the NHS alone contributes 4.4% of the UK Carbon footprint.

A series of training sessions were delivered internally by the HI NENC Sustainability Team at monthly team meetings. Delegates were canvassed on opinion pre and post training.

Six training sessions were delivered to provide basic awareness training surrounding four key areas:• Global Climate Crisis• UK Net Zero Priorities• Net Zero in the NHS• What is a Carbon Footprint?A pre and post session survey was developed and shared with participants to measure the impact of the sessions and to shape any future training that could be rolled out within HI NENC. The training sessions were also used as an opportunity to spark people’s interest in becoming more environmentally conscious in their personal lives and showing examples of how simple switches can be made.

43 members of staff completed the training delivered and all completed a pre session survey. Prior to this instance 86% of staff had completed no Net Zero related training with this being their first encounter. When asked to rate their level of knowledge confidence on the 4 key areas, the average scoring ranged between 2.37 (lowest) which attributed to ‘Net Zero in the NHS’ and 3 (highest) relating to the ‘Global Climate Crisis’.

The final pre session question gained insight and recognised efforts that are being made beyond the workplace. 97.7% of colleagues indicated they are already doing things in their personal life to reduce or offset their personal carbon footprint. Some examples include:

  • Recycling
  • Eco wash cycles (Clothes and Dishes)
  • Walking instead of Fossil Fuel alternatives
  • Transitioning from Fossil Fuel Vehicles to Electric

Following the training session, a follow up survey was sent out to capture the impact the training had. There were 34 responses out of the 43 training participants.

100% of participants found the training helpful citing the session was thought provoking, engaging and indicated they had learnt something new.

The highest improved confidence rate came from ‘Net Zero in the NHS’ with a post session score of 3.71 and the lowest improvement being ‘Global Climate Crisis’ with 3.74.

Understanding the NHS journey in reaching Net Zero and how HI NENC can impact that is a key takeaway for participants.

Feedback from the session highlighted the information brought the Climate Crisis and the impact on patients health to life and for some provided an education around a subject that they would not ordinarily go out of their way to research.

Participants were also asked what future training they would like , staff suggestions included:

  • The impact of the Climate Crisis on our Oceans
  • Carbon Reduction Planning
  • Food Processing
  • Building on the NHS and its Journey to Net Zero.

The training benefited staff in many ways. Some who already had a slight awareness of the climate crisis and its impact built on the scientific knowledge had the confidence to continue what they are doing. Whilst those who are early in their experience with Net Zero saw this as a starting point to understanding what needs to be done and what can be done. The topics discussed within the sessions will allow staff to translate learning into their individual programmes and recognise opportunities to demonstrate the carbon impact of innovation

The aim of delivering the training is to stimulate colleagues interest and to identify opportunities to capture the carbon impact of projects and recognise where there may be no other clear benefits carbon savings may be key.

All work was undertaken by the HI NENC Sustainability Team from deciding the training session topics, to canvassing the Executive Team for support. The training sessions and associated surveys were, planned, designed and analysed by the Sustainability Team. The clean air champions provided support on each session to stimulate conversation among colleagues.

The Sustainability Team will now take the outputs of the survey particularly the suggested areas of which staff are interested in to further educate and develop a plan of how to deliver accordingly.

Great session covering climate change and net zero and the potential impacts.
A delegate