Four Seasons Health Care seeks excellence in every aspect of its business and recognises the importance of good environmental practice. We are committed to improving further our environmental performance by setting and achieving a number of environmental objectives and targets.
With specific regard to carbon reduction, Four Seasons Health Care is committed to reducing its own carbon footprint by at least 15% by 2015.
To back up this commitment the group launched an energy-efficiency campaign in October 2010, which looked to make an initial investment of around £2.5 million. The outcomes of this campaign are detailed in the achievements below.
In implementing the company commitment, we will:
- Comply with relevant existing environmental regulations wherever we operate.
- Ensure environmental considerations are integrated into our business decisions.
- Endeavour to minimise the consumption of resources within the buildings we occupy, and consider the environmental impact of our operations, concentrating particularly on the use of energy, waste disposal, water discharges and land management.
- Promote awareness among our staff of the environmental impact of travel, and help reduce the need wherever possible.
- Adopt a policy of "reduce, reuse and recycle" in our consumption of resources, with sustainability a key element, especially within our administrative centres as well as, where applicable, in our care home and hospital settings.
- Move towards a paperless office by encouraging the use of our intranet, e-library, and electronic versions of manuals, and by discouraging the need for paper copies of emails, policies and procedures.
- Encourage the use of e-procurement and e-tendering where possible and practical.
- Give due consideration to environmental issues in the acquisition, design and location of buildings, and apply UK Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (Breeam) standards for building specifications, features and construction wherever possible.
- Ensure environmental criteria are taken into account in the procurement of goods and services as part of our commitment towards corporate responsibility in the supply chain.
- Regularly review our policies to ensure they remain properly aligned to the need to reduce waste and encourage the most effective utilisation of scarce resources.
- Strive to continuously improve our environmental performance.
We have been working to reduce energy use in our homes as a means to lower our carbon footprint. Examples include:
- Replacing inefficient boilers, or installing boiler-control improvements where appropriate; installing new heating systems and-hot water systems; using new high-efficiency condensing boilers that are up to 50% more efficient; and installing boiler-optimisation units that control the ways boilers burn gas, making them up to 20% more energy efficient.
- Insulating care homes.
- Fitting 20,000 low-energy bulbs across all our facilities, drastically reducing energy consumption.
- At every company facility, appointing an energy champion to work with the staff to consider energy-saving ideas and implement initiatives.
- Running a continuous energy-efficiency campaign to inform and update all facilities and share areas of best practice.
Company cars - we operate a restricted-choice policy which limits choice to restricted models of saloon cars; choice has moved towards low-emissions, high miles-per-gallon vehicles with high safety ratings.
New buildings - in relation to the planning and building of new facilities, we endeavour to: make use of sustainable materials and those that minimise damage to the environment in their production (the majority of the materials we use in our new buildings are EU & EC marked); recycle, especially in areas such as brown water; deploy energy-efficient design features; and generally reduce the impact any work may have on the fauna and flora.
Paperwork - we are moving towards more and more electronic purchasing and electronic invoicing with our key suppliers.
Paper and cardboard recycling - throughout our sites, we make use of paper-only bins, weekly cardboard collection for recycling, and shredding bins for confidential information; and we enable recycling by local agents, through a joint venture between Four Seasons Health Care and PHS.
Flooring - we specify where possible linoleum which is a totally natural product requiring very little cleaning etc. The vinyls we use have a high content of recycled materials. The carpets we use are from Denmark which is a very environmentally conscious nation. All our carpets are delivered on plastic tubes which are returned and recycled.
Furniture - all the furniture used in new fit-outs is now Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
Wall coverings - we regularly specify Tektura wallpaper, made in Sweden, which uses natural-based products and is bleach free. We are considering paint suppliers who are more sympathetic to the environment.
Electricity - all our homes use thin terminals, resulting in our greatly reduced energy consumption. Each terminal consumes 98% less electricity than a PC.
Stationery - all our printed forms, letter heads etc are printed on 100% recyclable paper, manufactured under ISO 14001, and carry FSC certification.
Cooking oil - all used cooking oil from our care homes and hospitals is collected for recycling and producing bio fuels.
"I feel at home when I visit my mother and feel confident that she is being well looked after, I wouldn't want her to be anywhere else."