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40% Reductions in carbon emissions since 2008 according to NHS Supply Chain annual sustainability report, with the NHS Procurement and Efficiency Programmes aiming to deliver £2bn in savings by the end of the financial year 2015/16.

The 2014 report focuses on how NHS Supply Chain is helping the NHS to reduce waste, improve due diligence around labour standards, procure sustainable and nutritional food, build supply chain resilience, and improve the efficiency of deliveries.

The NHS has a vested interest in minimising their business impact on the environment and empowering employees to drive sustainability throughout the organisation. The Sustainable Development report outlines their achievements in on-going delivery of the objectives outlined within the Sustainable Development Strategy 2013-16.

Sustainable NHSKey Highlights in 2014

  • A 40% reduction in carbon emissions since 2008 baseline levels
  • Compliance with Government Buying Standards within food and catering, helping you meet the recommendations within the Department of Health’s Hospital Food Standards Panel Report
  • Commitment to labour standards assurance, with four tenders including this as a post contract condition.

This year’s report outlines the commitment invested to deliver sustainability benefits for NHS customers and places strong emphasis on minimising the impact of the business on the environment.

Key Waste and Natural Resource Highlights 2014:

  • Recycled over 1,500 tonnes of waste from the distribution network
  • Diverted 19% of total waste to energy recovery
  • Achieved an 87% recycling and recovery rate for all waste created by NHS Supply Chain.
  • Saved over 1,700,000 litres of water by installing waterless urinals at Runcorn Regional Distribution Centre (RDC)

One of the NHS’s key commitments in their sustainability strategy is to reach ‘zero to landfill’ by 2016 from distribution centres and offices. This is not an easy task considering that the NHS produces over 2,000 tonnes of waste every year.

Last year the NHS continued their journey to ‘zero to landfill’ by improving recycling rates to 70%, up from 68% in 2013.

The work with their waste contractors to make sure that where possible, all non-recyclable material doesn’t end up in landfill sites, producing energy by burning waste as fuel at energy-recovery sites also continues.

In addition to outlining achievements, the report includes case studies that highlight how NHS Supply Chain has achieved its sustainability goals.

Nick Gerrard, chief executive of NHS Supply Chain said:

“Encouraging our team to think and behave in a sustainable way is a key element of our success, but also an ongoing project to embed a culture,”

“Sustainable development is, of course, about looking forward and this aligns with the NHS Five Year Forward View,”

“It is more important than ever that we help deliver transformation and sustainability for the NHS.” added Gerrard.

GPT Waste Management has vast experience of working alongside the healthcare sector to deliver sustainable waste management solutions. They recently produced a white paper aimed at healthcare sector. The white paper: “Cost savings for healthcare estates delivered through improved waste management”, provides a reference tool for Healthcare Estates Managers and Finance Directors to demonstrate the opportunities for cost savings through the implementation of effective improved waste management strategies. Request your copy by emailing


It is based on a simple example, a new approach and the impact it has had on a healthcare organisation’s bottom line.

Spend in the NHS can be simplistically split into four main areas:

  • Drug Costs
  • Planned Care
  • Unplanned Care
  • Operational Costs

These budgets are viewed often in isolation; however there are financial, operational and environmental gains to be enjoyed by putting waste management higher on the management agenda. In the White Paper, GPT Waste explain using a strong example, that by changing the shape of the decision-making process for procuring waste services across the healthcare sector, valuable funds can be released from budgets to be re-invested where it matters most… on patient care and service improvement.

Amanda Hepburn, GPT’s Account Manager for the healthcare client commented:

“When we initially started working with the healthcare group, the recycling was generally contaminated with food waste and some sites weren’t doing any recycling at all. Once GPT Waste solutions and measures were put in place, we quickly managed to get buy-in from several sites across the group. Once they could see the improvements and results, the motivation to make further changes spread.”

By correctly and accurately segregating waste, the healthcare group made savings in excess of £235,000 in the first 18 months whilst also increasing their overall recycling rate to over 97%.

She went on to say:

“Cost savings achieved through improved waste management within the healthcare sector could equate to more treatments and improved patient care. We offer advice, guidance and training throughout all contracts to ensure that the best results are achieved through implementation of sustainable waste management solutions.”

If you are interested in finding out how much your organisation could save through improved waste management, call 0844 854 5000 or email

GPT Waste provides clinical healthcare and pharmaceutical waste management services, specialising in protecting people and reducing risk. They work with local and national companies across the public and private sector to improve employee and customer safety, ensure legislative compliance and minimise the environmental impact of waste disposal.

Their services include:

  • Resource management guidance
  • Hazardous waste management programmes
  • Pharmaceutical waste disposal

With an extensive UK network of service providers and their disposal facilities, GPT Waste provide a range of services to NHS trusts, GPs, dentists, pharmaceutical manufacturers, private sector businesses, research companies and many more.

To speak to someone about your healthcare, pharmaceutical or clinical waste disposal requirements, call 0844 854 5000 or email


Other resources and references:

NHS Supply Chain

Building Better Healthcare