Friday 28th October 2016                 Change text size:

Ashden Awards: Global Action Plan


The Ashden Awards uncover and reward sustainable energy pioneers in the UK and across the globe, to date it has given out 170 prizes. Global Action Plan (GAP) won the 2014 award for behaviour change.

Operation TLC (Turn off equipment, Lights and Close doors)

Key facts

– The NHS energy bill was over £600m in 2012-2013.

– Operation TLC has so far saved £428,000 – that’s enough for 18 new nurses.

– Patients report up to 33% fewer sleep disruptions.


Buildings in the UK rarely achieve their designed energy efficiency; how the building is used by its occupants is just as important as how it was designed. Many organisations try to ensure that their staff are aware of how to best use their buildings, but the challenge is in creating a permanent change in their habits.

About the organisation

Behaviour change charity Global Action Plan was set up in 1993 and has since helped 750,000 people make practical changes to help the environment. In 2012 it embarked on a sophisticated behaviour change pilot programme with Barts Health NHS Trust in London, designed to help staff use hospital buildings as efficiently as possible. Operation TLC embedded an energy-saving ethos into hospital culture by incentivising staff to ‘Turn off equipment, switch off Lights and Close doors’. The result: closed doors maintain privacy and lowered lights help patients sleep, while vital NHS funds are saved.

With a proven business case for action, there’s huge potential to roll out the model across the NHS, with accompanying benefits for patients, planet and the public purse.

The Award

GAP won the 2014 Ashden Award for Behaviour Change

The Ashden judging panel said: 

GAP is bringing some TLC to the NHS – Operation TLC is improving patient healthcare, and at the same time is cutting energy use. With impressive financial savings this initiative has huge potential to be rolled out across the health sector, with benefits for patients, planet and the public purse.

Progress since its Award

Since winning an Ashden Award for work in two hospitals, Global Action Plan has begun Operation TLC at 13 hospitals, increasing our evidence on patient benefits and energy savings. With Barts Health NHS Trust it now offers a national support service, and the Climate and Health Council has become an advisory group to help the national programme.

Plans for the future

There are over 2,000 hospitals in the UK. GAP aims to support many of them to achieve similar benefits by creating a standard Operation TLC methodology, resource pack and support service. It’s also helping NHS Trusts with other health-environment crossover issues, such as improving air quality around hospitals and creating warmer homes for vulnerable patients.

Find out more at

Watch a one-minute video:

Photo: Ashden Awards via Flickr

Further reading:

An Ashden evening with Ed Davey and Zac Goldsmith

Abundance and Ecotricity among winners at Ashden Awards

‘Sustainable energy champions’ announced as Ashden Award finalists

Eurostar Ashden awards £30,000 to sustainable travel businesses

20 questions with… Sarah Butler-Sloss


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