Identifying how the NHS can be more sustainable

Responses received from NHS employees


Of respondents worked for an NHS Trust


The NHS and Public Health Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) supports the NHS, public health and social care to embed and promote sustainable development in environment, social and financial areas. Environmental behaviours learnt at work can create benefits outside of work for individuals and societies, and vice versa. The SDU wished to learn from NHS employees what sorts of actions they might be able to support and encourage both inside and outside of work.

Enventure Research was commissioned by the SDU 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.


An online survey methodology was employed for this research. A questionnaire was developed in partnership between the SDU 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 generated a large number of responses – 6,214 – which allowed for in depth analysis to be undertaken. Enventure Research carried out the analysis and provided the SDU with an independent comprehensive report. The survey identified that the majority of employees believed that it was important that the NHS works in a way that supports the environment, but that NHS employers could do more to encourage employee behaviours that support the environment both at work and outside of work.

“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

Sustainability Projects Analyst & Programme Manager, Sustainable Development Unit