NHS trusts continue to reduce energy use, water and waste – new maps published

The NHS in England has seen a decrease of 3.5% in building energy carbon footprint between 2007/08 and 2013/14 – this is a 1.9% reduction and 120,000 fewer tonnes of carbon emissions in the last year.

During this six year period the NHS as seen a 13% increase in inpatient activity.  The reduction in energy use combined with increased patient activity means that the carbon intensity per admission has decreased by 15%.

Energy prices have continued to rise, however reduced energy use has saved £50 million in 2013/14 meaning overall energy costs for the NHS have remained stable. The reduced energy use has also meant a saving of 120,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in the year.

This is useful progress: however further progress in terms of both scale and pace is needed in order to achieve our legal obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008: i.e. the target of 34% reduction by 2020.

In addition it is worth noting that:

  • The volume of waste not recycled by the NHS has decreased by 33% between 2007/08 and 2013/14;
  • There has been a 6% reduction in water use in the NHS between over the same period;
  • 36% of NHS organisations have a current Board approved Sustainable Development Management Plan in place;
  • 21% of NHS organisations have signed up for the Good Corporate Citizen assessment model (GCC);
  • 36% of Annual Reports for CCGs included good sustainability reporting while 21 CCGs excelled in communicating clearly the meaning of sustainability, policy, information and performance analysis.
  • 57% of NHS provider organisations have a board approved Adaptation Plan

For more information and to see maps showing energy use in different regions click here