See Why we are Finalists in the Environmental Awareness Category of the Colchester Business Awards 2014

Tollgate Clinic have been listed as finalists in the Colchester Business Awards 2014.

Following a visit from GEMCO, judges for this category, we thought you might be interested in some information on why we felt we were good candidates for the category.

At Tollgate Clinic our business values are focused on developing excellent community based services which protect both the individual and the environment.

‘Increases in chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, asthma, hypertension and heart disease are in part caused by adverse environmental  actors such as poor air quality, over reliance on care, badly designed built environments limiting opportunities for physical activity. Mental health and health inequalities are also linked to these factors.’ (Tollgate Clinic Environmental Awareness and Sustainability Policy 2014 TC 9.01P)

Environmental & Sustainability Policy and Action Plan

We have developed an Environmental and Sustainability Policy and Action Plan in line with our own business objectives, values and the future of our planet.

Main Objectives

  • Achieve continual year on year improvement in overall environmental performance and ensure all current legislation is adhered to.
  • Prioritise areas of environmental and sustainable action.
  • Embed environmental awareness and sustainability within the business culture.
  • The sustainable development action plan is to be maintained and distributed to all relevant parties.

Main Principles of the Policy and Action Plan and our Achievements


  • 3 members of staff regularly cycle to work
  • Following review of our policy, one member of staff has purchased a hybrid car, has halved petrol consumption and greatly reduced CO2 emissions.
  • Staff always car share when travelling to meetings.
  • A ‘Work from Home’ policy has been developed to enable employees to work from home before and after meetings if this avoids the need for unnecessary travel.


  • 63% of suppliers have an Environment and Sustainability Policy.
  • We have bought refillable dispensers instead of using/disposing of new bottles of chemicals (i.e. alcohol gel and other cleaning agents).
  • Ad-hoc ordering has been decreased and orders are now made once a month instead of every few days.
  • Since 2010 no clinical items have been wasted due to expiry date.
  • A recent review of the use of storage space has meant that we are now able to store 25% more stock in the theatre and stock room.
  • By choosing drought resistant plantings for our Courtyard Garden we have minimised the need to water the garden.
  • We have made our suppliers aware of our intention to increase our ‘Environmentally Friendly’ suppliers to 100% by 2016 and will continue to offer our experience and support to those companies that would like assistance in development of their Environmental Policy.
  • Introduced a new footer to all email messages in line with
  • Set up a new recycling box for all staff in Tollgate Clinic and Tollgate Practice – Plastic, Tin, Food, Glass
  • All paper is shredded and taken off site for composting by a member of staff.
  • No longer order note pads for staff use.
  • All non-reusable surgical equipment is sterilised and donated overseas via Health Partnership Nepal run by St Georges Medical School.
  • Use re-usable surgical equipment for Vasectomy Procedures and recently, after some research, started to use use re-usable equipment for Carpal Tunnel Surgery.Currently sterilised locally at Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust (CHUFT).
  • Purchased new PC Tablet for Patient Questionnaires to replace paper based questionnaires.


  • Despite an increase in the number of administration staff, a review of the office layout and a desk sharing programme has enabled us to employ additional workers without needing to occupy more office space and energy/running costs.
  • Excellent planning means that we are able to condense our clinics into 3 days, rather than 4 or 5, thereby reducing energy consumption.
  • Regular maintenance of our boiler system meant that a controller was identified as inefficient and a replacement will prevent unnecessary energy wastage and bills.
  • Our monthly Health and Safety review identified two leaking taps which have been repaired.
  • By keeping up to date with new research findings regarding ‘Surgeon Wet Scrubs’ we have learnt that we can, and have, save a minimum of 40 litres of warm tap water per session, by changing our procedures.  (That’s 120 litres a week over three operating sessions, and 6240 litres a year!).
  • All staff receive training as part of their induction plan.
  • Structured training is provided at Team Meetings
  • Environmental responsibility and sustainability planning is now included in every job description.
  • The board is provided with a review of our current Policy, Action Plan, and progress at each Quarterly Board Meeting.


  • •Liaise with commissioning bodies in relation to environmental and sustainability issues.
  • •Meet regularly with purchasers of our services to review the quality of service and
  • meeting contractual obligations, including environmental and sustainability issues.

Patient and Community InvolvementPicture1

Patients are provided with comprehensive information on environmentally friendly ways to travel to our clinic.

Additional information on local initiatives is displayed in the patient waiting area.

Specially developed patient pathway.

  • Shorter Appointments (less than 1 hour) –  Less use of power and utilities as surgical procedures are concentrated in to 3 days instead of 5
  • Smaller dressings required than at other establishments.
  • Quicker recovery time –return to work earlier with social and economic benefits
  • No return visits required – lower emissions

For more information on our specific achievements please click on the link to our presentation below

Environmental Awareness Award Presentation