Climate change poses a major threat to our health and wellbeing, as well as our planet. This includes the issue of air quality, which is linked to respiratory and heart diseases, and cancer. We recognise that we have the responsibility to take steps to reduce our carbon footprint and encourage an environmentally sustainable approach in the way healthcare services are delivered.

The NHS has set itself the challenge of becoming the first net-zero carbon healthcare system and set ambitious targets for reductions in carbon emissions. The NHS accounts for 5% of the national carbon footprint and NHS trusts across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight region emit over 1 million tonnes of Co2e of which Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU) accounts for over 10%.

Our Green Plan

In 2022, we published PHU’s first Green Plan, setting out how over the next three years, we will rise to this challenge and take action. 

We have an ambitious agenda that means transforming what we do and the way we do it. This includes how you access services, prescription advice, buying differently, as well as more traditional things like solar panel installation and LED lighting. It also involves encouraging sustainable travel options for staff, visitors, and patients – you can read more about this here.

We recognise that there is a lot we must do and have committed to publish an annual report setting out our progress. We want to set a strong example for the Portsmouth and South East Hampshire communities that we serve and positively influence the organisations that we work with.

We are also working closely with local partners including the University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council and other NHS bodies to deliver on this important agenda.

LED lighting programme

PHU and our PFI provider are in year two of a three-year project to replace existing tungsten, halogen and fluorescent lighting with modern LED alternatives. This is expected to reduce energy demand and save 1,171 Tonnes of carbon monoxide equivalent – around 7% of our existing emissions.


In 2023 we took part in No Mow May to encourage the wild plants on our sites to flower, attracting pollinating insects and other wildlife. We have commissioned a greening strategy to help identify opportunities to improve biodiversity on the Queen Alexandra Hospital site. This includes wildflower planning along with bat, bird, and bee boxes.

Electrical power

Our new Emergency Department will include solar panels and all systems such as heating, cooling and ventilation will be powered by electric. The scheme is BREEAM excellent rated.

Electronic forms

By increasing our use of digital forms and records, we are helping create a safer environment for staff and patients, as well as reducing the amount of printing and paper used.

Sustainable travel

Not only do we have electric car charging points available on the QA Hospital site and at our staff park and ride, but we now have electric bikes and e-scooters that are available for rent. This goes alongside our excellent public transport links with buses running from outside the main entrance to the hospital.


We have taken action to stop the use of the anaesthetic gas Desflurane which has reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 300 tonnes of Co2e per year. Our clinicians are also encouraging patients to switch to dry powder inhalers for treating their asthma with 12% having made the switch so far. 

Walking aid recycling scheme

To help reduce the amount of walking aids ending up in landfill, the Therapies and Sustainability teams at PHU have launched three new walking aid recycling points at QA Hospital. Patients and visitors can return items including crutches, walking frames and metal walking sticks so they can be checked, cleaned and redistributed. By reusing an item, carbon emissions reduce on average by 98% when compared to using a new walking aid. Find out more here.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the Sustainability Team on