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Saturday 26th May 2018

Carbon cutting plan launched by NHS

28th January 2009

The government has launched an ambitious plan to reduce NHS carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

UHB New Hospital1

A wide range of ideas to hit the target include greater use of technology to cut patient and staff travel and changes to waste disposal.

As the nation’s biggest employer, the NHS produces 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which amounts to 3% of the UK’s carbon footprint.

Under the initiative drawn up the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, the NHS in England will be required to recycle 75% of its waste by 2020.

The strategy is divided into three categories: building energy use, travel and procurement.

In a bid to cut patient travel, currently amounting to 10.5 billion passenger kilometres a year, greater use of staff teleconferencing will be made with more telemedicine technology for patients. In addition all new buildings must be zero carbon by 2018.

And to try to cut food kilometres, more food will be sourced locally, through the Hospital Caterers Association. 

NHS chief executive David Nicholson said: "As the biggest public sector employer in the country, the NHS needs to lead by example. I want to encourage NHS staff to really get involved and do their bit to create a greener NHS."

Director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit Dr David Pencheon said: "Carbon reduction is something that needs to extend to every part of the organisation. Everyone who works for the NHS should be thinking about reducing their carbon footprint as part of their day job."


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