Wales politics

NHS in Wales cuts carbon footprint by 7%

intensive care unit bed
Image caption Gas consumption was the largest single contribution to the carbon footprint in the NHS in Wales at 21%

Health Minister Edwina Hart says more can be done in the Welsh NHS to cut emissions and raise energy efficiency.

Her comments came as a new study showed the carbon footprint of the NHS in Wales was 7% smaller in 2009, compared with 2005.

The study looked at energy use in buildings, emissions related to patient and staff travel, and emissions related to goods and services used.

The assembly government target is a 3% reduction year-on-year in emissions.

Mrs Hart said that while the figures show the assembly was "tackling climate change" in the NHS, more could be achieved.

"While we have done a great deal, we know we must do more," said Mrs Hart, speaking at the start of Climate Change Week.

"I am pleased about the 7% reduction in the carbon footprint of the NHS in Wales since 2005, but we need to go further, to contribute to the assembly government's target of a 3% reduction year-on-year in greenhouse gas emissions.

"Being more energy efficient is not only good for the environment, but also helps to reduce costs and save money."

Travel and transport

The emissions related to the production of goods and services used by the NHS accounted for 38% of the total, with 34% coming from building energy use and 28% from travel and transport.

Natural gas consumption accounted for the largest individual contribution to the carbon footprint - at 21% or 117,000 tonnes - followed by patients' travel at 12% or 96,000 tonnes, and electricity consumption at 11% or 91,000 tonnes.

However, a separate annual report from Welsh Health Estates shows that for 2009-10 shows the total amount of electricity generated by combined heating and power units rose from 8.86% of total electricity requirements in 2008-9 to 15.7 % in 2009-10.

This was mainly due to the commissioning of new and larger capacity systems during the year.

There was also a 21% improvement in NHS energy efficiency since 1999-2000, with 4% less waste being sent to landfill in 2009-10 compared with 2008-09 which is a reduction of 14.5% below 1999-2000 base year.

A £3m assembly government fund has supported 123 NHS schemes, including installation of low energy external LED lighting and movement sensors.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites