Shaping Our Future Sustainable Healthcare Action Plan

In November 2020 we created our first sustainability action plan in C&V.

Across 8 dimensions: Energy; Waste & Food; Water; Procurement; People; Built Environment Green Infrastructure Biodiversity; Transport; Clinical – we set out a number of action’s we were looking to achieve. In the year since our plan was drafted some of the highlight achievements include:

  • ISO14001 re-certification
  • 7,000 LED lights installed, 100% renewable electricity purchased
  • Zero waste sent to landfill
  • Funding for water fountains in several thanks to our Health Charity
  • Funding for bike maintenance thanks to our Health Charity
  • Homeworking commonplace
  • Average of c33% of outpatient appointments are now virtual
  • Creation of a health professionals community of interest
  • Sustainable healthcare introduced to year 2, 3, 4 and 5 medical students at Cardiff University
  • Creation of a ‘programme business case’ for a potential UHW replacement and UHL refurbishment
  • Ran a survey of colleagues – assessed awareness and the messages back included tackling simple things like turning lights off

The action plan was challenging to us, but more of the same will not see us making the right progress towards a net zero Welsh Public Sector by 2030. We have started drafting an action plan for 21/22 and we intend seeking Board approval in November 2021. The key changes are proposed to be:

  1. The adoption of core sustainability targets set by NHS Wales. Over 70 separate actions are applicable to Health Boards across a range of dimensions.
  2. And on top of these seek to change the culture of the Health Board’s approach to sustainability top down and bottom up.
  • Top Down: where for example corporate decision making uses sustainability as a consideration.
  • Bottom Up: where we increase the communications around sustainability case studies as there are great things happening in the Health Board that need to be publicised, where we encourage simple gestures that will see us use less energy and dispose of waste in the most sustainable ways and where we look to increase the number of people practicing sustainable quality improvement with an emphasis on substituting or reducing consumption of high greenhouse gas impacting clinical products.

We aim to be recognised as a top 10 health system globally. Our ambitious approach to sustainability align to this aspiration. There’s a long way to go to reach a net-zero public sector by 2030 and we’ve made a start. Everyone, no matter where they sit in the Health Board has a part that they can play.

  • We can all turn off a light or put an item of waste in the correct bin.
  • Some of us can reduce consumption of products – something simple like printing paper
  • Some of us can substitute the single use products we use for more sustainable re-usable devices or prescribing more environmentally friendly medication.

We’d love to hear about any of your ideas and quality improvement projects that will help Cardiff and Vale UHB become a more sustainable and environmentally friendly place to live and work, as well as any innovations you may have heard of for sustainability in healthcare delivery.

Have your say

Cardiff & Vale University Health Board is an active entity continually improving. As a health board, we aim to exceed our responsibilities by delivering more than healthcare.  We are always striving to be better. By continuing to make a difference not just for today, we hope to leave a lasting example for future generations to follow. 

If you wish to contact the Sustainability Team, please email

Shaping Our Future Wellbeing

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board’s 10-year transformation and innovation strategy.

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