Greening the NHS – Making the case for implementing an Environmental Management System

The NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy for England (CRS) sets an ambition for the NHS to help drive change towards a low-carbon society. The strategy shows the scale of reduction in carbon required for the NHS to progress towards the Climate Change Act requirements, and recommends key actions for the NHS to become a leading sustainable and low-carbon organisation.

The NHS has a carbon footprint of 18 million tonnes CO2 a year.1 Achieving the Climate Change Act target of a 26 per cent reduction by 2020 and an 80 per cent reduction by 2050 presents a tough challenge for all NHS employees.

To achieve the government’s 2020 reduction targets, NHS organisations need to implement effective planning now. However, data gathered from 17 directors of estates and facilities, energy managers, and environmental managers within NHS Trusts – via a self-assessment GAP analysis at a recent Blackmores Greening the NHS event – highlights the lack of environmental procedures and the communication of environmental requirements.

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