London Borough of Sutton Green Enterprise Partnership 

Accelerating transition to a better and prosperous future  The Go Green Scheme for the Care Sector Pilot Removing barriers for the care home sector action on climate. Overview  The London […]

Published on 29/02/2024 in News

Accelerating transition to a better and prosperous future 

The Go Green Scheme for the Care Sector Pilot

Removing barriers for the care home sector action on climate.

Overview 

The London Borough of Sutton created the Green Enterprise Partnership (GEP) for businesses in Sutton. The GEP helps businesses to thrive while also helping them to take advantage of the benefits of the sustainability agenda, such as reduced energy bills and increased customer engagement.

The Go Green Scheme

The Go Green Scheme is supporting local businesses to understand their environmental impact and take actionable steps to reduce it. The scheme is also focussed in helping businesses save on costs. Supported businesses have reduced expenses through local purchasing and cut their energy bills by closely monitoring utility usage and implementing effective sustainable operational adjustments.

The scheme has now been extended to support the care home sector in Sutton in adapting to climate change and improving their environmental credentials.

Sutton has a high number of care homes within the borough and residents of care homes are notably among the most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate emergency. Extreme weather events, such as excess heat in summer and colder winters, add to the existing complexities of addressing the wide variety of needs within the care home sector.

Increasing pressures on the social care system, exacerbated by the cost of living crisis, may lead to a lack of resources and expertise within the sector to develop and implement adaptation measures and improve environmental credentials. The Go Green scheme addresses this by offering free technical support to Sutton’s care homes, helping them progress on their sustainability journey.

There are no upfront or later costs associated with joining the pilot scheme. The London Borough of Sutton, in collaboration with its delivery partners, Green Mark, will provide free technical assistance to up to 10 care homes in Sutton. The pilot scheme will support these care homes achieving Green Mark accreditation — an internationally recognised green business certification with a successful history of helping organisations in the care sector in achieving sustainability goals.

The Green Mark accreditation not only helps care providers to adapt to a changing climate and understand their environmental impact and take easy steps to reduce it, but it also provides them with an opportunity to communicate their sustainability efforts to their customer base.

Upon achieving accreditation, care homes will be awarded badges which can be displayed in their premises or on websites, providing a visible and recognisable symbol of their work and commitment to reducing their environmental impact and adapting to a changing climate.

The pilot scheme will have rolling applications open from 4 March 2024 until 1 May 2024. 

Please ensure you read all the following information carefully before applying for this pilot scheme. Care homes must meet all criteria set out to qualify. Submitting an application or meeting the criteria set out does not guarantee a care home will be accepted in the pilot scheme. By applying, you accept all aspects of this guidance. 

Green Mark

Green Mark’s sustainability accreditation team combines a user-friendly framework via an online portal with assistance from a specialist support team, to guide care homes on their sustainability journeys.

Care homes will adopt the Green Mark framework to drive ongoing efficiency and foster a sustainable culture across their operations. By joining the Go Green Scheme and obtaining Green Mark accreditation, care providers can achieve their sustainability goals while complying with existing environmental requirements and regulations.

By achieving all three steps to full accreditation, a care provider reaches the equivalent of ISO 14001 in government procurement frameworks. As little as one hour per week over 12 weeks can make you a sustainable champion.

You can find out more about Green Mark here.

Apply to join the Go Green Scheme by completing the form below. 

https://forms.gle/pJJtvnCC4ZBusRxs7

Timeline

London Borough of Sutton will be accepting applications on a rolling basis from 4 March 2024 until 1 May 2024. 

This timeline is subject to change, depending on the number of applications received. The London Borough of Sutton reserves the right to close applications earlier if demand is significantly high. 

Eligibility 

  • The Go Green Scheme is open to any care homes based in the London Borough of Sutton, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • The definition of a care home for the purpose of the Go Green Scheme is, as defined by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), a regulated facility (either a nursing or residential or dual registered home) which is registered to provide specific specialisms (e.g. learning disability, mental health and dementia). Care homes provide accommodation for people (who are unable to live independently due to age and/or disability) in a residential setting, with access to 24-hour care and support.
  • To be eligible for the Go Green Scheme, care homes must accept local government clients. Priority will be given to care homes that already have existing local government clients.
  • Care homes must have appropriate licences, certifications and be operating in accordance with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), industry or government regulations, and will not be considered if they are in contravention of any regulations.
  • If funding remains following this application round, the London Borough of Sutton may choose to reopen applications for the Go Green Scheme, potentially with varied eligibility criteria or priorities. 

Why should I join the Go Green Scheme? 

  • There is a strong case for care homes to ‘go green’ and adopt sustainable practices. Here are a few reasons why:
  1. Support for climate adaptation: The scheme helps increase care homes’ resilience by tapping into the health benefits of sustainability.
  2. Cost savings: Implementing sustainable practices reduces energy, water, and waste costs, particularly crucial for care homes with high energy and utility bills due to 24-hour operations.
  3. Compliance with regulations: In a world where environmental protection is gaining momentum, engaging in sustainability keeps care homes ahead of environmental regulations, such as the expected introduction of sustainability criteria in the Care Quality Commission rating of care homes.
  4. Risk reduction: Sustainability helps identify and mitigate risks like supply chain disruptions and energy price fluctuations.
  5. Increased competitiveness: Environmental action distinguishes care homes from competitors, appealing to clients looking for environmentally responsible care providers.
  6. Employee engagement and retention: Sustainability fosters employee engagement and retention by creating a sense of purpose and shared values.
  7. Innovation: Improving environmental credentials drives innovation, prompting care homes to find more efficient ways to operate.
  8. Positive impact on the environment and society: Sustainability future-proofs care homes, addressing challenges posed by climate change and benefiting both the environment and society.
  • The Go Green Scheme allows care homes to gradually improve their environmental credentials and achieve accreditation. The 4 steps that care homes are expected to complete over two years are set out in Table 2 below.
  • Care homes are expected to invest as little as 1 hour per week over a 12-week period each year to achieve accreditation.
  • We understand that making changes to your operations can be challenging. That’s why we teamed up with Green Mark to provide personalised 1-on-1 support each step of the way. This support system aims to help care homes overcome any challenges and successfully obtain an internationally recognised environmental accreditation. 

Table 2: Green Enterprise Partnership’s Go Green Scheme 4-step certification scheme

StepStandardMilestone
1. Commit Member Join the Partnership by committing to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero before 2050, and achieve Green Mark accreditation. 
2. AssessLevel 1Measure carbon footprint and environmental impact, and set emissions reduction baseline.
3. PlanLevel 2Have strategies in place to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero before 2050.
4. ReduceLevel 3Implement emission reduction strategies and reduce at least 5% of carbon footprint annually. 

Each step of the Green Enterprise Partnership certification scheme is described below.

  • Commit: involves making a commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net-zero before 2050, and achieve the Green Mark accreditation. This step ensures that care homes understand the importance of reducing their carbon footprint and are willing to take action towards this goal.
  • Asses: requires care homes to measure their carbon footprint and environmental impact. This step helps care homes understand the sources of their emissions and identify areas where they can reduce their impact. It also helps care home to identify adaptation opportunities to improve the wellbeing of its residents in face of the climate emergency
  • Plan: involves developing adaptation and emissions reduction strategies. This step requires care homes to develop a plan to adapt to changing climate and reduce their emissions, such as improving energy efficiency, adopting renewable energy sources, or reducing waste.
  • Reduce: requires verifying and reporting progress. This step ensures that care homes are implementing their plan and reducing emissions.

Monitoring & Evaluation 

  • In order to monitor the effectiveness of the Go Green Scheme participant care homes will be required to share information on their environmental performance. This includes:  
  • Operational changes since joining the scheme such as new processes, policies, and operational adjustments, as well as cost-saving measures resulting from participating in the accreditation process.
  • Nominal and percentage emissions reduction in scopes 1 (operations) and 2 (energy) and 3 (supply chain). 
  • This data will be collected from businesses throughout the accreditation process. Care homes may also be asked to showcase their successes in tackling and adapting to the climate emergency by providing information for the production of case studies with the goal of sharing best practices within the sector. This will allow the Green Enterprise Partnership to measure the impact of the pilot scheme against expected outcomes.
  • Your data will be held, processed and retained securely by the London Borough of Sutton as required by the Data Protection Act 1998 and General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR). It will be shared with other teams across the Council and third parties for the purpose of assessing, verifying and processing your application, reporting, responding to statutory requests and for the detection and prevention of fraud and error, and not to use it for any other purposes. The London Borough of Sutton’s full privacy notice is available at sutton.gov.uk.

Further information

  • The London Borough of Sutton reserves the right to vary the terms of the Go Green Scheme and amend the guidance at any time, and without notice, should it be necessary to do so, including to ensure compliance with Government guidance. 
  • The London borough of Sutton will accept a care home written request for a further review of the decision if the applicant has concerns that the decision has not been made within the framework set out in this guidance. 
  • The person completing the application must have authority to act on behalf of the care home that the application is being submitted for. If you are not named as a Director or person with significant control on Companies House you must provide contact details of a Director on request and confirmation they have approved the application. In certain scenarios we may ask for evidence of this authority.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the care home that the application is being submitted for has the appropriate licences, certifications and be operating in accordance with industry or government regulations.
  • If any of your circumstances change after you submit your application, you are required to notify us at [email protected]
  • If you have any queries please contact [email protected]. Alternatively, if you are unable to email please telephone our Contact Centre on 0208 770 5000.
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