PHS Group, is giving its support to the NHS in a bid to make all 1.3 million employees of the public health body more aware of the importance of sustainability and efficient waste management. Their campaign – Sort It! – has been created specifically for the NHS and will be unveiled as part of NHS Sustainability Day on 28 March 2013 (www.nhssustainabilityday.co.uk).

Working in close collaboration with the NHS, the campaign is designed to help save the NHS millions of pounds a year by educating staff, from surgeons to cleaners to administrators, about the need to deal with waste responsibly.

Caroline Williams, marketing manager at PHS, is the brainchild behind Sort It! She said:

“During the years we’ve worked with the NHS, it’s become clear that many people still don’t know where to put what waste. This costs the NHS dearly. For instance, ordinary domestic type waste is often put in the wrong containers and sent needlessly for incineration.

“Apart from producing huge amounts of unnecessary CO2 emissions, incineration costs around £4.50 per bag extra – costs the NHS could well do without.

“Although it might seem obvious, we were delighted when we came up with the campaign name as it says exactly what we want people and the NHS to do – Sort It!

“Originally, we looked at producing lots of documents and brochures but decided NHS staff at the frontline don’t have the time or inclination to read through such things, and what they really need is practical, at-a-glance guidance.

“And so our ‘waste wheel’ was born which is a unique pocket-size rotating guide to quickly show what waste should go into which container. Basically, it condenses a mass of complex documentation – including 120 pages of official guidelines – into a simple format.

“We hope that every member of the NHS will carry one in their pocket as standard before the end of the year and follow its simple, visual guidelines. We’re also urging people to follow @SortItCampaign on twitter, too.”

Fiona Daly, Environmental Manager at Barts Health NHS Trust and Chair of the London Carbon Reduction Leads Network supports the campaign:

“Waste is one of those things that every single person has to manage at some point every single day. The Sort It! campaign shows that changing habits is one of the simplest yet most effective ways for every member of the NHS to make a very real and measurable difference.

“NHS Sustainability Day is the ideal time to launch the Sort It! campaign. I hope everyone in the NHS visits the campaign website and sees just how easily they can make a difference to the on-going drive to reduce waste and carbon emissions.

PHS Wheel

“Sort It! is a great campaign that shows how partnership between the NHS and private sector organisations can work to deliver real, tangible benefits at no cost to the public purse.”

As well as the ‘waste wheel’, PHS has produced a range of practical and useful resources

to make everyday life easier for all NHS employees, including posters, postcards and exhibition panels.

Underpinning the campaign is a dedicated website ( www.phs.co.uk/sort-it) where people can pick up top tips for effective recycling; learn easily about sustainability and waste management; make pledges; and download useful items to help spread the Sort It! message throughout the NHS.

Anthony Pearlgood, commercial director at PHS Group plc, said:

“Sort It! carries a simple but vitally important message. Money is being thrown away at
most NHS facilities every day.

“We work with a number of NHS trusts but our culture is never to get complacent so we’re always seeking new ways to offer an added-value service. It’s part of our culture and helps us cultivate long term relationships that are beneficial for everyone concerned.

“Our Sort It! campaign is about doing rather than talking.”

NHS Sustainability Day is supported by Prime Minister David Cameron, Stephen Fry and Sir David Nicholson, CEO of the NHS.