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Greener, Leaner, Cleaner

Thursday 27 October 2011

NHS Supply Chain is pleased to announce the launch of its annual sustainability report – ‘focus on sustainability’. This year’s report highlights the commitment invested into putting the principles of sustainability into practice and places a strong emphasis on minimising the business’ impact on the environment.

It recognises the responsibility for preserving and protecting the environment, and how NHS Supply Chain works closely with customers, suppliers and employees to develop environmental best practice and improve the supply chain across the NHS.

Over the past year, NHS Supply Chain has achieved considerable reductions in core areas of sustainability, including; energy, water, transport and waste. Water consumption has been reduced by 14% per employee since 2008.

The savings achieved through sustainable incentives has resulted in a 14% reduction in CO2 tonnes per £million revenue since 2008. In the long term, it has enabled NHS Supply Chain to ensure that it’s able to deliver both green and financial savings whilst instilling sustainable practices.

NHS Supply Chain’s commitment to transport:
One of the key components of the sustainability programme is cleaner, more efficient transport. NHS Supply Chain has reduced the mileage of its transport fleet, replaced 118 delivery vehicles with more efficient models limited to 53mph and trialled the newest hybrid technology to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption; in 2010 transport carbon emissions were reduced by 324 tonnes.

Making sustainable savings is an ongoing process which will help to reduce the carbon footprint year on year.

Packaging reduction
NHS Supply Chain has been working with its suppliers to reduce product packaging on examination gloves which has achieved real cost savings for customers, and enabled greater efficiency throughout the supply chain.

Recent changes to EN455- 2 European Union EN standard for examination gloves, has allowed our suppliers to be able to manufacture thinner gloves which, whilst continuing to offer adequate protection to clinical users, also allows for a reduction in packaging by incorporating more gloves into each pack.

NHS Supply Chain prompted its suppliers to review their packaging in order to take advantage of the new EN standard which approved the reduction of the thickness of surgical gloves. This has enabled NHS Supply Chain to procure a new range of six Newton gloves in boxes of 200, as opposed to the previous range which was packed in batches of 100.

By working closely with suppliers and gaining a greater understanding of customer needs, NHS Supply Chain is able to reduce the impact of the healthcare supply chain on the environment, delivering real benefits to customers at the same time.

To view the full report in further detail, please follow the link: NHS Supply Chain Focus on Sustainability

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Media enquiries:

Jayesha Mistry
07738 071826

Joanna Morrison
07776 457201

Notes to editors

About NHS Supply Chain

NHS Supply Chain is operated by DHL as Agent of the NHS Business Services Authority. 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 in 2006 from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). NHS Supply Chain aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

NHS Supply Chain 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. (*source: NHS Supply Chain 2009 value proposition study with Southampton NHS trust)

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
  • orthopaedics
  • rehabilitation
  • capital equipment, including finance and maintenance.

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