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Maidstone business shows that it is 'easy being green'.

Monday 13 December 2010

NHS Supply Chain recycles 1 million plastic cups and saves 215 tonnes of carbon through environmental programme

In a bid to create a greener workplace, staff at a Maidstone distribution centre have improved their recycling and saved more than 360 tonnes of carbon by reducing energy used and delivery miles travelled.

NHS Supply Chain’s site based on St Barnabas Close in Maidstone, supplies hospitals around Kent and London with vital equipment. The organisation has endeavoured to reduce its impact on the environment over the past few years, and is helping NHS trusts in the area reduce their carbon emissions.

Simon Collins, general manager at the Maidstone site says, “We are continuously looking at ways we can reduce sending waste to landfill. So we have been really pleased at the success of our plastic cup recycling initiative. Hitting the figure of one million plastic cups recycled has been a real landmark.”

The entire team set about limiting their impact on the environment from reducing the amount of delivery miles that its fleet travels, to replacing all lighting in the depot with more energy efficient alternatives.

Simon explains, “By looking at how we use our transport we have saved more than 28,000 miles. We reworked our delivery schedules across the area, and reviewed how goods were loaded into lorries to ensure that we were making best use of the space.”

“We also recently reinstalled improved lighting across the site that is now operated on movement sensors meaning that lights are only on when necessary. This has seen us reduce our electricity usage by over 20% compared with our baseline year, equating to 27 tonnes of carbon.”

Simon concludes, “We believe that small changes can make a big difference - thousands of tonnes of waste could avoid being sent to landfill and a substantial amount of carbon emissions could be cut if it was duplicated across other businesses.”


Media enquiries:
Andrew Brentnall
01773 724196 or 07766 513181
Jayesha Mistry
07738 071826

Notes to editors
A copy of NHS Supply Chain’s second annual sustainability report can be downloaded here,

About NHS Supply Chain
NHS Supply Chain is a government contract operated by DHL since 2006. It supports the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organisations in England and Wales by providing end to end supply chain solutions.

The organisation was formed from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). It is operated on behalf of the NHS Business Services Authority and aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

The NHS Supply Chain contract manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 1,000 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations. It provides a single point of access to over 620,000 products ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and even diagnostic equipment such as MRI scanners.

Its management of the procurement process negates an NHS organisation’s need to tender through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Costs can also be reduced through its one-route solution that consolidates all products onto one invoice and delivery – this saves up to £1 per product in back office administration costs and removes up to 40 deliveries going into a trust compared with ordering goods separately.

To ensure that its products are fit for today’s healthcare market, NHS Supply Chain works with suppliers of all sizes to ensure its range embraces high quality and innovative products; and engages with clinicians, the Department of Health and academic institutions to make sure that it is aware of the current requirements and latest developments in clinical practice.

NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include:

  • theatres
  • dental
  • audiology
  • catering, including food
  • infection control
  • orthopedics
  • rehabilitation
  • capital equipment, including finance and maintenance.

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in eight locations.

Delivering value to the NHS