The Welsh NHS has promised to assess its carbon footprint with a “major exercise” designed to improve the service’s sustainability.
The exercise is aimed at identifying the main sources of carbon emissions, as well as areas in which the service’s carbon footprint can be reduced.
The Welsh NHS has already had some success in using waste management projects to reduce its carbon footprint. Current efforts include the installation of biomass boilers in all new Welsh hospital developments, including Aneurin Bevan, Ebbw Vale and Rhonda Lluwynypia, as well as an increase of 13% in domestic waste recycling from 2008-09.
The service has also implemented more traditional carbon reduction techniques, including combined heat and power systems and creating public transport travel plans for staff.
Welsh health minister Edwina Hart said: “As Wales’ biggest single employer and organisation, the NHS is a consumer of a considerable amount of goods and energy and generates a lot of travel as it works to care for the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales.
“While we have done a great deal, we know we must do more. The work that I am instigating on determining the carbon footprint of the NHS will help me to identify where further efforts should be focused and help to prioritise future work in this area.”