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Sustainable Initiatives

By delivering wholesale sustainable initiatives, we can deliver on behalf of all the NHS trusts across the country that work with us.  Read on for highlights of sustainable initiatives across our four pillars.

Sustainable initiatives illustration

We have developed tools and opportunities to help drive a greener, fairer and more equitable health system. Examples of our sustainable initiatives include, but are not limited to the reuse and recycling of furniture and medical devices, reducing single-use plastics in catering, food waste reductions and plant-based recipes that can be used for patient staff and visitor feeding.

Reducing Single-Use Plastic

Our Ambition: To reduce the use of plastics across our value chain, ranging from distributed products and components to plastic materials used for packaging, as well as the broader issue of single-use plastics (SUP) and the cumulative impacts of these products on the environment.

Sustainable catering consumables

Catering Consumables Alternatives Brochure

The Catering Equipment and Consumables framework has a downloadable brochure that the NHS can use to switch to more environmentally friendly catering and consumable products. An effective switch to add to trust greener plans.

Find out more on our Catering Equipment and Consumables framework page.

Greener ‘Food to Go’ Suppliers

Our Food to Go framework includes many suppliers working hard towards sustainable practices. Several have either achieved or are working towards 100% plastic-free packaging.

A selection of chef academy dishes
Reusable clinical waste bin

Reusable Clinical Waste Bins

Switching to our Reusable Clinical Waste Container Bins could offer trusts a considerable single-use plastic reduction. NHS Supply Chain: Infection Control and Wound Care has procured an end-to-end service for reusable clinical waste containers.

More Choice Including Sustainable Sanitary Products

Our Maternity, Obstetrics and Gynaecological Products framework has widened its offering of sanitary products on offer to the NHS. For the first time, it will include “green” sanitary products that could count towards a trust’s reduction of Single-use plastic.

Sustainable sanitary products

Waste and the Circular Economy

Our Ambition: Management of waste across the entirety of the NHS Supply Chain. This includes packaging, food and other waste that is generated across our offices, distribution centres and the broader supply chain.

Green waiting area chairs

Furniture Refurbishment and Repair

Our Office and Outdoor Furniture framework has a lot dedicated to sustainability. Trusts can procure from a wide range of suppliers who work on social value and reuse and recycle options. From the furniture you are ordering or repairing down to a more sustainable delivery. Download a copy of the Office and Outdoor Furniture brochure on our Office and Outdoor Furniture contract page.

Remanufacturing and Restoring Medical Devices to ‘As New‘

NHS England highlighted a reduction in waste and the reuse of medical devices as an important part of its efforts to become net zero. Repurposing single-use medical devices is a great way for trusts to take steps toward becoming net zero. NHS Supply Chain: Cardio-vascular, Radiology, Endoscopy, Audiology and Pain Management offers a collection service on Electrophysiology (EP) devices. This service allows trusts to have used EP devices restored to ‘as new’ which diverts waste from landfill so far the NHS trusts using this service have diverted 1,495Kgs of waste from landfill. The service can also create a revenue stream for trusts as they are paid for collections. We have 24 trusts already using this service. Contact your Customer Relationship Manager to find out more.

Surgical instruments

Reusable Surgical Instruments

NHS Supply Chain: Sterile Intervention Equipment and Associated Consumables are supporting the NHS to reduce landfill with the Surgical Instruments framework. We have procured a range of sustainable surgical instruments that can be recycled, reused or repaired.

Benefiting from Plant-Based Dishes

NHS Supply Chain: Food has created over 100 vegan and vegetarian recipes nutritionally analysed by our Dietetics team. The multiple benefits of introducing more plant-based dishes into the NHS range from better health for patients, staff and visitors and proven to reduce our impact on the environment. Contact your Regional Food Account Manager for more information on the full range of Culinary Concepts. Download a free plant-based sample recipe.

A selection of plant-based foods
Food waste on stack of plates.

Food Waste Methodology

Reducing food waste is an important part of our ongoing sustainability plan and as highlighted in the ‘Delivering a Net Zero’ National Health Service Report. NHS Supply Chain: Food has created a Food Wate Methodology supporting the NHS to reduce food and related waste. See if you could reduce food waste by contacting your Regional Food Account Manager.
Read how Bolton NHS Foundation Trust reduce food waste to just 6%.

Climate Change

Our Ambition: NHS Supply Chain has a holistic response to climate change, air pollution and the carbon agenda, including a lowering of direct energy consumption, carbon footprint, fuel usage and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions associated with our own operations, infrastructure and fleet.

Spotlight on Sustainable LED Lighting

LED lights can use less energy than a traditional light bulb and last much longer, having a positive impact on Greenhouse gas emissions and our environment. In 2001 we launched the Batteries Lighting Tools and Facilities Management Consumables framework. Trusts can obtain a lighting audit from suppliers on the framework who specialise in lighting. This framework also offers rechargeable batteries and electric vehicle charging points.

LED lights being changed
NCP paper

NCP Recycled Copier Paper

By 2021 the NHS had already saved huge amounts of carbon by switching to our recycled copier paper. To put it into context the CO2 saved is equivalent to 13,672 trees saved. This is based on a fully grown European Spruce tree typically used in making paper (25 metres long and 1.475 kgs of wood per tree). View more information on our NCP paper.