Sector saving both money and resources

A new report from the Sustainable Development Unit, Reducing the use of natural resources in health and social care, shows that local organisations across the health service in England are saving money by making more efficient use of resources, as well as benefiting the environment. The publication supports NHS figures that show at least £90 million is now being saved each year across the country compared with in 2014, through measures to become more efficient in the NHS use of natural resources. Furthermore, despite growing numbers of patients, the health and care system in England has, over the past decade:

        •  Reduced its carbon footprint by 18.5%

  • Slashed its water footprint by the equivalent of 243,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, in the first water footprint of a health system in the world.

  • Ensured that over 85% of NHS provider waste avoids going directly to landfill.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said, "As we develop the long-term plan for the NHS, we are driving efficiency in all its forms across the health service. By cutting fuel bills, water usage, plastics, and energy emissions, the NHS is both saving taxpayer’s cash, and helping to prevent air pollution, climate change, and environmental degradation."

The SDU added: “All of this work helps to achieve the NHS’s constitutional commitment to ‘providing the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources’.”

The report is downloadable at: