Healthcare organisations that don’t strive to work sustainably are working counter to their own aims.
The most pressing impact of global climate change is the impact on human health.
Poor air quality contributes significantly to ill health in the UK.
Poverty and other sociological factors such as isolation, joblessness and loss of community raise hospital admissions and incidence of both mental and physical illness.
All of these increase the pressure on our health service, and unless we address them, delivering quality healthcare in the coming years will become impossible.
The NHS is a significant contributor to the UK’s total greenhouse gas footprint. Looked at another way we can play an equally significant part in mitigating the effects of climate change. At Barts Health we are committed to reduce our emissions by 34% by 2020 (2007 baseline).
As in the wider NHS the greater part of our total carbon footprint (as much as 70%) is from the goods and services we procure. Despite this, carbon emitted from direct operations has received the most attention to date. With the “quick wins” in building energy and elsewhere having been made, scope must now widen to include the embedded carbon from the supply chain, if our our emission reduction targets are to remain on track . For this reason Barts Health NHS Trust is launching a new supplier initiative that aims to help suppliers reduce their carbon footprint and minimise supply chain risk. This will ensure the Trust can continue procuring the many thousands of products and services we need, without unintentionally undermining conditions that support healthy populations.
Working in partnership with Trakeo to implement their Sustainable Resource Planning (Trakeo SRP) portal we will enable suppliers to better measure, manage and report on their own sustainability performance. This capability will make sure we are well placed to realise our goal of becoming the most sustainable NHS Trust in the UK.
From today all suppliers to the trust are being asked to login and complete a brief disclosure questionnaire. The information provided will be used to identify best practice, improve supplier relationships and increase supply chain visibility.
With your help Barts Health NHS Trust will continue to strive to enhance localised social, economic and environmental conditions to have a positive impact on our communities’ health.
- The NHS is the largest public sector emitter of carbon in Europe
- Healthcare in the UK has a carbon footprint of 32 million tonnes per year
- The NHS accounts for 5% of all road journeys in the UK.
- 31% of all NHS Trusts have already reduced building energy consumption by more than 10% (2007/8 baseline).
- 78% of NHS staff believe reducing carbon should be part of core business.