NHS Supply Chain publishes update on carbon reduction and sustainability efforts
NHS Supply Chain is doing its bit to lead the way in reducing carbon emissions and improving sustainability across the healthcare sector.
The organisation has recently published its Sustainable Development Report for 2012-13, setting out its achievements. It has also published a fresh report setting out its aims for the period from now until 2016. Click here to access this document.
“This report reinforces that NHS Supply Chain has an important role to play in delivering sustainable value to the NHS and in helping NHS customers to realise opportunities for sustainable development throughout procurement and logistics,” said Nick Gerrard, chief executive of NHS Supply Chain.
The report highlights the economic challenges facing the NHS and the UK economy and the focus on delivering savings within non-pay spend.
“Financial savings are a prime concern for NHS trusts,” said Colin Stuart, operational sustainability manager at NHS Supply Chain.
This report reinforces that NHS Supply Chain has an important role to play in delivering sustainable value to the NHS and in helping NHS customers to realise opportunities for sustainable development throughout procurement and logistics
“We are working on sustainable solutions in the supply chain that offer both cost reduction and environmental benefits.”
The 2012-13 document shows that the organisation has reached a number of sustainability milestones. These include improving carbon efficiency by 33% since 2008. It has also recycled more than 7,200 tonnes of waste in that time, and reduced water consumption by 15% per employee. In addition, there are now more than 50 suppliers working with NHS Supply Chain on Government Buying standards for Food and Catering to improve hospital food; and SMEs currently make up 50% of suppliers and 27% of all sales through the organisation.
The business has taken the lead on a number of sustainable initiatives, working closely with both suppliers and customers to help reduce the impact on the environment. Waste backhaul projects have maximised the efficiency of the supply chain and greatly reduced waste from trust sites. As well as managing the waste that is produced, work with suppliers on packaging reduction has had a direct impact on sustainable development leading to cost savings and greater efficiency throughout the supply chain.
Together with operational successes, procuring and operating responsibly and ethically are imperative to ensure the NHS is sustainable.
“To procure and operate responsibly consideration must be given to labour standards, responsible nutrition, food sourcing and health and safety,” said Stephanie Gibney, ethical and sustainability manager.
“We have been supporting suppliers to meet the contract conditions of the Labour Standards Assurance system to help drive ethical procurement. We’ve also been working hard with our food suppliers to make information on Government Buying Standards available on our food and catering contracts.”
By working closely with suppliers and gaining a greater understanding of customer needs, NHS Supply Chain is able to reduce the impact of the healthcare supply chain on the environment, and drive ethical procurement, bringing real benefits to customers at the same time
“By working closely with suppliers and gaining a greater understanding of customer needs, NHS Supply Chain is able to reduce the impact of the healthcare supply chain on the environment, and drive ethical procurement, bringing real benefits to customers at the same time,” she added.
Objectives for the coming years include improving energy, fuel and water efficiency; reducing emissions, waste and pollution from distribution centres; increasing recycling; and further reducing unnecessary packaging.
“We are committed to putting the principles of sustainability into practice across our operations and place a strong emphasis on reducing our impact on the environment,” said Stuart.
“We work closely with customers, suppliers and employees to develop environmental best practices and improve the supply chain across the NHS.”