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A care home in Dorset is thought to have become the UK’s first carbon neutral care home after offsetting its environmental impact.
Eagles Mount Care Home in Poole worked with offsetting specialists Carbon Neutral Britain to calculate its carbon footprint for 2020.
“This is the first care home we have ever calculated emissions for”
It then offset its carbon emissions by supporting renewable energy and forest projects around the world that help to reduce greenhouse gases.
Last month, Luxurycare Eagles Mount Ltd, a division of the wider Luxurycare group, was certified a carbon neutral business, a status it will have for the next 12 months.
A spokesperson for Luxurycare said the group had spent around £25,000 to make Eagles Mount carbon neutral. The home has 18 residents and 45 staff.
Its carbon footprint, measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, was 163.08 tonnes for 2020.
The home’s largest emissions came from electricity and gas consumption but calculating its carbon footprint included everything from staff travel, water usage, deliveries, and waste.
The offsetting programmes that the care home signed up to supports hydroelectric power in the Amazon and China, wind power in the Philippines and reforestation in Nicaragua.
Their emissions reductions have been verified by the United Nations.
Carbon neutrality means balancing greenhouse gas emissions by ‘offsetting’ – or removing from the atmosphere – an equivalent amount of carbon for the amount produced.
Net zero, is a similar term sometimes used interchangeably, although some argue that net zero involves a commitment by the organisation to cutting its overall emissions rather than simply offset them.
“It’s nice for us to be aware of the environmental impact that the home has ”
In October 2020 the NHS set out to become net zero by 2040 and for its wider supply chain to become net zero by 2045.
James Poynter, director of business development and offsetting verification at Carbon Neutral Britain, said: “Whilst it is mandatory for the biggest UK companies to calculate and offset their carbon footprints, we work with hundreds of businesses across every sector each year who want to do that voluntarily – but this is the first care home we have ever calculated emissions for.
“Combined, these small and medium-sized businesses have a big impact, so if more step up, as Eagles Mount has done, it will move Britain closer to its ambition of being carbon neutral and have a real impact on climate change as well.”
Alicja Wysocka, manager of Eagles Mount, said: “Our priority is always about the care we provide our residents for them and their families, but it’s nice for us to be aware of the environmental impact that the home has – and even better now that we are completely carbon neutral!”
Mandy Kittlety, managing director at Luxurycare, added: “With climate change an ever more pressing concern for all of us we are incredibly pleased and proud to be the first care home to officially be certified carbon neutral by Carbon Neutral Britain.
“This has been a fascinating process, which has not only enabled us to neutralise our environmental impact but has provided us with a much deeper understanding about where that impact arises,” she said.
“Whilst we already take steps to be as environmentally aware as possible, we are now looking at what more we can do to be ‘greener’ and are currently implementing numerous changes in support of our goal in developing a community here at Eagles Mount.”