European Union legislation (December 2008) is targeting a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and 20% increases in energy efficiency and use of renewables by the year 2020. The Climate Change Act is equally demanding. A national 10:10 campaign wants a 10% reduction in carbon emissions by 2010. The NHS has a carbon footprint of 18 million tonnes of CO2 per year attributable across energy (22%), travel (18%) and procurement (60%). The NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) has published a carbon reduction strategy aiming to reduce its 2007 carbon footprint by 10% by the year 2015. Core areas of activity are:
- energy and carbon management
- procurement and food
- low carbon travel, transport and access
- designing the built environment.
A Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme is being introduced in April 2010 with a three-year plan to involve more than 6000 public and private sector organisations in accountability for their annual emissions. The SDU document, Fit for the Future, envisages a healthcare system placing more emphasis on health promotion, wellness and screening through use of contemporary IT, technology and efficient use of resources.
The College acknowledges that it has a responsibility to promote the prudent use of resources amongst its Fellows and staff as appropriate in order to protect the environment.