NHS Grampian worker recognised for green achievements

Aaron Sutcliffe and his team alongside Neil Duncan. Image: NHS Grampian

NHS Grampian is giving special recognition to one of its workers, who has worked hard to reduce the health board's environmental impact.

Aaron Sutcliffe, 32, has been given a Green Star Award for helping save the organisation more than 1,300 bags of rubbish every week.

Aaron, who lives in Elgin, joined NHS Grampian in 2016 as a domestic and has been promoted three times since. 

His strategy of removing general waste bins in favour of fewer recycling stations started when he looked after Ashgrove House in Aberdeen.

He has since gone on to transform the way waste is handled in the warehouse at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, as well as two floors of offices in the hospital’s Yellow Zone and Foresterhill Health Centre.

Aaron said: “I’m really proud of myself and my team who go above and beyond to make my ideas work.

"We’ve found engaging with people is the most important bit – asking ‘we would like to’ and explaining we’re trying to make a positive impact on our sustainability goals.

"It’s a win win for everyone as it means less bending to under desk bins for domestics and it’s good for those sitting at desks to get up and about too.

“We all have a duty to take care of our planet and be as cost effective as we can be.

"I was totally inspired by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet – I love it – and we should all be doing our bit.

"Every single general waste bin I’ve ever checked contains recyclable materials and what we’re doing is trying to make it easier for everyone to think about recycling first.”

Aaron was presented with a certificate by waste manager Neil Duncan, who says getting the organisation’s 16,000-strong workforce on board with recycling isn’t as simple as it may sound.

Neil explained: “Swapping lots of small waste bins for fewer recycling points helps encourage staff to recycle and it reduces the workload for our domestic assistants.

"But with more than 70+ sites to review alongside hundreds of teams, there’s an opportunity for others to take a lead and make the changes in their areas.

"Aaron has plans to double what he’s achieved so far by the end of this year and this is commendable work which should be replicated across all areas.

"We’re really grateful to Aaron and his team for their commitment and enthusiasm.”

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