Enventure Research was commissioned by NHS England to undertake a survey with NHS staff in the UK to understand their views and attitudes towards waste reduction, reducing carbon emissions and delivering cost savings through supporting the environment, both at work and at home.
The NHS is the country’s largest employer and is keen to support its staff to engage in ways to reduce waste and costs, and consequential environmental impacts. Research has shown that environmental behaviours learnt at work can create benefits outside of work for individuals and societies, and vice versa. NHS England therefore wished to learn from NHS employees what sorts of actions they might be able to support and encourage both inside and outside of work.
The research was conducted on behalf of the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU), a national unit based in Cambridge which supports the NHS, public health and social care to embed and promote sustainable development in environment, social and financial areas. The SDU provides expert advice, support and practical help in meeting carbon reduction targets and engaging with individuals and organisations to change attitudes and behaviours to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle.
An online survey methodology was employed for this research. A questionnaire was developed in partnership between NHS England and Enventure Research covering a variety of topics, including the importance of supporting the environment, commuting habits, green space, ways in which the NHS and NHS organisations support the environment, frequency of actions undertaken to support the environment and encouragement factors to increase such actions.
Prior to being launched, the survey, including the structure, question wording and response options, was tested with a small number of NHS employees online. This helped to ensure that the questionnaire was easy to understand, would elicit useful responses, was of a suitable length and that the questions were asked in a non-biased manner.
The survey was hosted online and the link was distributed via email to a sample of NHS staff by Health Service Discounts, an NHS employee benefit provider. Survey respondents were offered the chance to be entered into a prize draw to win an Apple Watch for participating. The survey was live from 31st October to 6th November 2017. During this time, 6,214 responses were received from NHS staff members. Of these, 80% worked for an NHS Trust.
The data from the survey was analysed by Enventure Research and an independent report commenting on the results and feedback was provided. The findings from the research will help NHS England to understand how best to support and encourage staff to reduce waste and improve the use of resources, so that cost savings can be made for frontline services.
The following testimonial has been provided by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit:
‘Enventure Research’s client care was excellent. They were very responsive to our needs, timely in their communications and delivered on time to a high quality. We will definitely consider working again with them in the future.’
(Rick Lomax, NHS Sustainable Development Unit)