In a move which will help the NHS work towards its commitment of a net zero health service and boost the environmental credentials of all healthcare customers, Grundon Waste Management has announced that its clinical waste operation is now completely self-sufficient in green energy.
Grundon’s site at Knowl Hill, in Berkshire, pipes landfill gas from its adjacent former landfill site into a gas engine which is now generating around 350kW of renewable electricity – that’s enough to power the entire operation and still send at least a third of its output to the National Grid.
Phil Steer, Commercial Manager – Clinical, works with many of Grundon’s NHS customers, and says he believes Trusts will welcome the announcement.
“The NHS is responsible for around 4% of the country’s carbon emissions and last year it became the first in the world to commit to delivering a net zero national health system by reducing harmful carbon emissions and investing in efforts that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere,” he said.
“Being able to work with a supplier whose clinical waste operations are entirely self-sufficient in energy will be an important step forward for them because it enables Trusts to reduce their carbon footprint without any extra cost.
“In addition, given that our waste collection fleet is already certified CarbonNeutral®, it’s the perfect combination for anyone who generates clinical waste and wants to be more environmentally-conscious.”
Overseeing the project has been James Gilbert, Grundon’s Environment & Energy Manager, who said: “On an average working day, we use around half of our self-generated electricity to power our site and send the remainder to the National Grid, so it is quite significant.
“Sourcing our own power not only means we are much greener, but we’re conserving energy by not taking electricity out of the National Grid and we’re supporting our customers too.”
The Knowl Hill operation is home to Grundon’s hydroclave facilities, which treat a range of infectious and clinical wastes generated by NHS Trusts and other healthcare-related customers, including dental and doctors’ surgeries, care and nursing homes, and veterinary practices.
Also based at Knowl Hill is the company’s fleet of specialist clinical waste collection drivers and vehicles, together with the clinical waste sales team and facility operators.
Grundon’s NHS customers include Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, London North West University Healthcare (LNWH) NHS Trust and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Find out more about the NHS’s climate change ambitions here.