@UK Helps NHS Identify Carbon Hotspots

Dec 06, 2012

@UK PLC is pleased to announce that it has completed the NHS Carbon Hotspots Report with NHS Shared Business Services and NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU). The report helps to deliver the NHS target of reducing consumption by 10% by 2015. The same methodology could be applied to other government departments to achieve the 1-2% efficiency savings set out by the Chancellor in yesterday's autumn statement.

Research in 2010 by NHS Sustainable Development Unit showed the NHS carbon footprint was dominated by procurement with 65% of the footprint attributed to the goods and services procured.

The NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) in partnership with NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS), @UK and a number of NHS trusts, publishes the latest report on carbon footprinting focussing specifically on the procurement of goods and services.

This research also supports the NHS in understanding the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012(1) , which requires public services to consider taking into account economic, social and environmental value, not just price, when commissioning and buying goods and services.

The study identifies carbon hotspots in the supply chain comparing the carbon contribution of 18 categories of goods and services against six different NHS organisation types (acute, primary care and community services, mental health, ambulance services, specialist services and Strategic Health Authorities).

Key findings of the study include:

Pharmaceuticals are 22% of the NHS England carbon footprint of which:
   -     79% is primary care and community services
   -     13% is acute services and 5% is mental health services

Medical instruments are 13% of the NHS England carbon footprint of which:
   -     75% is acute services
   -     13% is primary care and community services

Building energy use (gas and electricity) is 18% of the NHS England carbon footprint of which:
   -     72% is in acute services
   -     51% of which is electricity consumption
   -     45% of which is gas consumption

For ambulance services fleet vehicles, gas and electricity together make up 55% of the carbon footprint from goods, services and building energy use.

David Pencheon, Director, NHS Sustainable Development Unit, says:
"The study allows organisations to identify where to focus in order to reduce both costs and carbon supporting the NHS's drive to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by 2015. The results show the importance of pharmaceuticals, medical instruments and energy sectors. Guidance on addressing carbon through procurement is already available through the P4CR programme which aims to reduce emissions associated with goods and services through demand management and adoption of innovative solutions."

David Wathey, Head of Sustainable Procurement, Department of Health, says:
"Understanding where to start in trying to reduce carbon through procurement has proved to be a significant challenge for the NHS given the large and diverse range of goods and services procured. This study builds on the work of the P4CR programme, such as the SCO2PE tool, and provides greater clarity, for different types of NHS organisation, on where to focus their efforts."

Peter Akid, Managing Director of NHS SBS Commercial Procurement Solutions,says:
"NHS Shared Business Services and @UK have been working together for a number of years to support the NHS in understanding its spend activity. We are delighted to be able to put this capability to further use in helping the NHS SDU heighten awareness of the NHS's carbon footprint. We are also very pleased to be part of this national programme which we hope will be integral in helping reduce the carbon footprint across the NHS."

Ronald Duncan, Chairman of @UK says:
"The ability to automatically identify the individual items that make up a hotspot makes it much easier for trusts using the P4CR program to reduce demand and wastage of the items that make up the hot spot. This simplifies the process of reducing the overall usage by 10% by 2015."

The full report is available on the NHS Sustainable Development Unit website:


Procuring for Carbon Reduction (P4CR) Workbook available on the SDU website: http://www.sdu.nhs.uk/corporate-requirements/interventions/procurement.aspx

@UK's GreenInsight is available at www.green-insight.com


([1]) Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/3/pdfs/ukpga_20120003_en.pdf