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Action to cut carbon footprint

Action is being taken to reduce the overall carbon footprint of hospitals in Wales.

Welsh Health Minister Edwina Hart said an exercise has been drawn up to highlight the areas where performance can be improved to make the NHS more environmentally friendly.


Mrs Hart said significant action had already been taken to reduce waste following new guidelines which state all new hospitals must be designed to meet strict environmental performance standards.


This includes Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda, in Llwynypia; Ysbyty Alltwen, in Tremadog and Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan, in Ebbw Vale, which have all included biomass boiler heating systems into their designs.

Work has already been carried out to reduce gas and electricity consumption. Figures show consumption fell by 4% in 2008-09 and is now 17% lower than in 1999-2000.

Water usage has also fallen by more than 7% in 2008-09 in terms of overall consumption with a corresponding improvement of 7% in the measure of how efficiently water is used.

All of the major hospitals in Wales have developed travel plans to support staff, patients and visitors to use public transport, car sharing or by walking or cycling. Other hospitals are also now developing similar plans. 

Mrs 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.”