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Sunday 23rd October 2016

NHS should cut carbon emissions

22nd June 2007

The NHS is being urged to take steps to cut is greenhouse gas emissions.

A new report commissioned by the NHS Confederation has found that the NHS spends about £400m a year on energy and emits up to one million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere.

The report, prepared by think tank the New Economics Foundation and called Taking the Temperature: Towards an NHS Response to Global Warming, also revealed that 5% of UK road transport emissions came from trips associated with the NHS.

Figures shows that patients, visitors and NHS staff travelled almost 25 billion passenger miles in 2001, mainly in cars and vans.

The document, which also highlighted the amount of waste generated by the NHS, warned that climate changes may see an increase in heat-related deaths and diseases.

The NHS will have to cut is carbon dioxide emissions by about 600,000 tonnes to meet government targets by 2050.

NHS Confederation chief executive Dr Gill Morgan welcomed the findings and said the NHS does understand its responsibility in tackling climate change.

Figures show that the NHS could save £50m a year if it cut energy consumption by 15%. Some health trusts have already put carbon reduction measures in place including fitting solar panels to buildings, sourcing locally-produced food and introducing park-and-ride schemes.

Earlier this year, the Department of Health launched new software - the NHS Environmental Assessment Tool - which aims to raise environmental awareness, estimate the environmental impact of its activities and develop a strategy to improve its performance.


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