Carbon Hotspots


The NHS, public health and social care sector is made up of many different types of organisations with distinct characteristics. We have used the Health and Social Care Information Centre classifications to produce an outline of the carbon footprint for types of organisations. Each organisation is unique so this information is provided for guidance only.

The carbon hotspots identified in this research can be used to evaluate materiality of interventions and actions on sustainability. For example, commissioning organisations can use this information to focus on commissioned activity and travel. 

Carbon intensities for types of activity have also been produced from this work, these can be used for looking at patient pathways, estimating the carbon footprint from activity in different settings based on spend. 

Further information on patient pathways and carbon actions on hotspots is also available in the Areas of focus pages.

Here is a summary of the carbon intensities for services:



Goods and Services Carbon Hotspots report 

Research in 2010 by NHS Sustainable Development Unit showed the NHS carbon footprint was dominated by procurement with 65% of the footprint attributed to the goods and services procured .

A study in 2012 focussed specifically on the procurement of goods and services.  The study identifies carbon hotspots in the supply chain comparing the carbon contribution of 18 categories of goods and services against six different NHS organisation types (acute, primary care and community services, mental health, ambulance services, specialist services and Strategic Health Authorities).

Key findings of the study include: 

Pharmaceuticals are 22% of the NHS England carbon footprint of which:

79% is primary care and community services
13% is acute services and 5% is mental health services  
 

Medical instruments are 13% of the NHS England carbon footprint of which:

75% is acute service
13% is primary care and community services
 

Building energy use (gas and electricity) is 18% of the NHS England carbon footprint of which:

72% is in acute services 
51% of which is electricity consumption
45% of which is gas consumption


The full report and an Executive Summary can be downloaded below.



  • Goods and Services Carbon Hotspots - Full Report
    Goods and Services Carbon Hotspots - Full Report

    Full 40 page report identifying carbon hotspots in the supply chain comparing the carbon contribution of 18 categories of goods and services against six different NHS organisation types (acute, primary care and community services, mental health, ambulance services, specialist services and Strategic Health Authorities).

    Download Document

  • Goods and Services Carbon Hotspots report - Summary
    Goods and Services Carbon Hotspots report - Summary

    6 page summary of a study that identifies carbon hotspots in the supply chain comparing the carbon contribution of 18 categories of goods and services against six different NHS organisation types (acute, primary care and community services, mental health, ambulance services, specialist services and Strategic Health Authorities).

    Download Document