Buildings account for less than a quarter of health emissions according to new report. Sub metering recommended to reduce footprint

Energy use from buildings accounts for 22% of the total carbon footprint of the NHS, a new study has found.

The Sustainable Development Commission’s Carbon Footprinting Report, released last week, revealed that the NHS estate emitted 1.13m tonnes of carbon in 2004, of which 630,000 tonnes was electricity and half a million was through heating and hot water.

The majority of the NHS’s footprint is via procurement, the report found, with 22% of the total alone on sourcing and buying pharmaceuticals. The remaining emissions were via travel.

The report recommends that sub-metering should be rolled out across the NHS estate. “This will enable understanding of NHS energy consumption in more detail, which will be essential for future strategy decisions.”