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Home Industry News NHS ‘to cut carbon footprint’

NHS ‘to cut carbon footprint’

2nd June 2008

The NHS has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint, the Department of Health has said.

As the largest employer in Europe, the health service contributes around three per cent of the total carbon dioxide emissions of England.

Its Carbon Reduction Strategy published last week for consultation promises a reduction of these emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.

The strategy pledges reductions in all areas including travel, procurement and building energy use, while it also outlines methods for achieving this change.

Under the plans outlined in the paper, NHS bodies are to have a carbon management strategy in place by 2009, with annual reports on sustainable development progress and an increase in NHS recycling to 75 per cent by 2020.

Ivan Lewis, health minister, said: “Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our health and wellbeing.

“As part of our commitment to sustainable development we will work with the NHS to enable organisations to reduce their carbon footprints.”

He added that these changes will also help people adapt to the changing climate, which has genuine health implications.

Mr Lewis urged partnership working to tackle the global problem of climate change.

In March 2008, the British Medical Association warned that climate change could bring malaria and other infectious diseases to the UK.

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