Each year, the NHS spends over 20 billion pounds on goods and services which help to treat patients. (ref link

Making, transporting and using these products and services accounts for more than 50% of the overall carbon footprint of the NHS (ref National Resource Footprint). The way in which these are purchased, together with the product and service choices we make, can help improve planetary health. 

Sustainable procurement is about making smarter choices, using financial resources more effectively and avoiding unnecessary costs. The NHS Long Term Plan calls for collective purchasing power to reduce the NHS contribution to carbon emissions, air pollution, waste generation and water usage.

Our approach to sustainable procurement involves working with major NHS procuring organisations to change the way we address procurement, the types of goods and services we select and the suppliers we contract with. It also involves working with our suppliers to encourage them to make better and less polluting products. 

We will do this by ensuring procurements and contracts support the Long Term Plan environmental objectives; accelerating the take up of tools, resources and training; and championing new approaches that will help us address embedded carbon.