ERS Medical is at the start of our Net Zero journey. Despite this, historically, we have consistently acknowledged and maintained a commitment to greener operations, given that we operate a large patient transport and medical courier network across the country.
We are committed to integrating social and environmental priorities into our business operations.
With national operations and a fleet of just under 500 vehicles, we aim to minimise environmental impact where possible and we have various initiatives in place to support our aims of:
- Significantly recuce carbon emissions, in line with the NHS’s Net Zero roadmap to reach Net Zero by 2040 (for the emissions that we can control).
- Publishing a carbon reduction plan for our direct emissions
- Following the NHS Non-Emergency Patient Transport decarbonisation timeline
- Applying our social value blueprint to regional operational areas and directly contributing to biodiversity and ecological initiatives.
Despite the increase in our fleet numbers, we have maintained a steady reduction of our emissions per vehicle. From 2020 to 2021, this resulted in a reduction of 110 tonnes of CO2 in just one year, with comparable vehicle numbers.
This significant reduction of CO2 is a clear reflection of the operational efficiencies and innovations we apply to service delivery.
Comprehensive fleet replacement programme
Our achievements of reducing emissions is in a large part due to replacing older vehicles with more efficient vehicles featuring newer engines. 70% of our fleet is less than three years old with a further fleet replacement programme taking place in 2022, which will take this up to 90%.
In 2021, following a rigorous certification process and audit, we formally received our ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 certification for the next three years.
Whilst already applying the practices, principles and processes laid out in ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, these formal certifications recognise our continued alignment with the rigorous, internationally recognised standards.
ISO 9001:2015 builds on seven quality management principles: Customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, improvement, evidence-based decision making and relationship management. These principles reflect the service delivered by ERS Medical and set the quality standard that clients can expect.
ISO 14001:2015 requires that an organisation considers all environmental issues relevant to its operations, such as air pollution, water and sewage issues, waste management, soil contamination, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and resource use and efficiency. We have been consistently committed to the continual improvement of any environmental concerns resulting from our work. This certification demonstrates clear compliance with current regulatory requirements and gives clients the added confidence that they are being supported by a provider that is conscious about the future of the environment.
We utilise the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System to educate & encourage new initiatives in line with global CO2 and environmental impact reductions.
As part of this, we measure:
- The recycling of wastes generated at our sites through our operations and by our colleagues.
- Our energy performance as a business that considers electricity usage, water usage and the carbon footprint of our colleagues.
- We are also working with the Alzheimer’s Society to promote their recycling scheme across all ERS Medical sites. Colleagues can donate any unwanted items such as old jewellery, old technology and gadgets, foreign coins, cameras and more in the recycling boxes and any funds raised from recycling these items is converted into vital funds for the charity.
Innovation for a better future
Our role as a market leader means that we have a responsibility to explore innovations that result in a better future.
Another innovation we have been working on is the development, deployment and use of electric ambulances and courier vehicles.
In 2021, in line with the target that we set for ourselves, we launched a commercially viable electric ambulance in one of our key contracts. Deployed for the use of Homerton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and its community services, the zero emissions patient transport vehicle paves the way for our cleaner and greener transport vision.
With a range of 219/185 miles (city/combined), it saves over 12943.71kg of CO2 emissions per year when compared to a diesel vehicle equivalent driving 30,000 miles per annum. This saving of CO2 per annum is equivalent to 1271 gallons of diesel consumed or 14321 pounds of coal burned.
Following on from the successful launch of the first electric ambulance, ERS Medical will be launching a fully electric non-emergency patient transport fleet for Homerton by October 2024 – which will replace the existing fuel-run fleet.
Homerton Trust will be the first Trust in the UK with a fully electric fleet for its non-emergency patient transport service.
Other ways we maintain environmental awareness
ERS Medical has procedures and incentives in place to reduce the number of journeys and length of the journey people need to take, for example,
- Sustainable Business Travel – when possible we ask employees to use train travel to training courses and meetings to reduce CO2 and congestion while potentially making better use of travel time.
- Travel Blending – reducing the frequency of business travel by combining meetings into one trip and introducing car share schemes.
- Alternative Travel – replacing face to face contact with video conferencing, interactive webinars and using the latest technology to implement remote working when possible.
- Improving Driving Styles, providing advice and training to improve fuel efficiency, optimise emission reduction equipment and reduce tyre and brake wear.