The NHS currently contributes approximately 3% of England's total carbon dioxide emissions. The Carbon Reduction Strategy, published yesterday for consultation, commits the NHS to reduce these emissions by 60% by 2050 in all areas, including procurement, travel and building energy use and sets out ways that this can be achieved.
Proposals suggested within the strategy include:
All NHS bodies to have a Carbon Management Strategy by 2009.
Organisations to report annually on their sustainable development progress.
The NHS to recycle 75% of its waste by 2020.
The Strategy is the first output of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit which is hosted by NHS East of England.
Chief Executive of NHS East of England Neil McKay said: "Our unit was created to provide the leadership, support and ammunition that NHS organisations need to take sustainable development into account in their day-to-day business. This is the first of a series of strategies that will take forward a sustainable development programme in the NHS.
"I would encourage anybody - doctors, nurses, patients, visitors - to put forward their views as part of this consultation."
The Strategy is a draft for consultation and people are encouraged to respond by 21st August.