03 June 2008 | Paul Snell
The Department of Health has earmarked changes to procurement as a priority to reduce carbon emissions.
The government has committed to reduce carbon emissions from the health service by 60 per cent by 2050. And the supply chain, which accounts for 60 per cent of the 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide the NHS produces every year, has been highlighted as one of the major factors in improving the situation.
The carbon footprint of the NHS supply chain has been analysed to show 59 per cent of emissions come from procurement, 18 per cent from business travel and the remaining 22 per cent from energy use.
The carbon reduction plan includes additional targets to those outlined in the NHS's response to the Sustainable Procurement Task Force's 2007 report, such as commitments to take up ultra-energy efficient lighting and working with suppliers to reduce logistics emissions.
New aims include the production of a breakdown of carbon emissions from medical instruments and pharmaceuticals to identify where improvements can be made, and looking at how NHS purchasing power can stimulate low-carbon product development.