At the NHS Sustainable Procurement Conference – hosted in partnership with the Healthcare Purchasing Consortium, NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (PaSA) and Xerox – at Aston University, procurement decision makers, environmental officers, healthcare professionals and technology experts discussed the necessity to integrate sustainable initiatives into purchasing decisions.
The recently published NHS Sustainability Procurement Action Plan shows that procurement currently generates 60 percent of the total NHS carbon footprint. By integrating sustainable purchasing as part of the procurement process, the NHS expects to reduce its carbon footprint by a minimum of 10 percent over the next five years.
“Most people, organisations and professionals are interested in becoming more sustainable, but too few have implemented programmes to tangibly drive down our carbon emissions,” said David Pencheon, Director of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit. “NHS organisations have a real opportunity to use the procurement processes to genuinely bring a sustainability strategy to life. As the NHS Sustainability Unit helps shape NHS policy, the responsibility lies with us to identify areas where the NHS can implement organisational and transformational changes. We also provide metrics to monitor and deliver carbon footprint reduction, which will be essential for reaching our 10 percent reduction target.”
Xerox, the business partner for the conference and one of the NHS’s key IT suppliers, says that providing sustainable products and services is increasingly important. “Many of our customers in both commercial and public sector organisations are looking for guidelines and criteria to help introduce new sustainability and low carbon practices. We believe this remit will largely become the responsibility of procurement divisions, who will start looking for more sustainable goods and services – such as office products – to save more energy and produce less waste,” said Andy Cosgrove, Environmental Health and Safety Manger, Xerox Europe.
In England, the NHS produces around 20 million tons of carbon dioxide per year of which 60 percent are attributed to procurement purchases, 18 per cent to travel and 22 per cent to energy consumption. Paper products, information and communication devices and waste products and recycling create a remarkable 1.4 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
“Sustainable behaviour is a very important element of the NHS strategy: It is good for the environment, it is good for society, it is good for our staff and – most importantly – it’s good for our patients”, said Jonathan Wedgbury, Chief Executive of the Healthcare Purchasing Consortium. “Sustainability is linked to big savings and improvements such as costs, tax spending and reputation. Partners and suppliers like Xerox have a huge role to play in reducing the carbon impact of our service.”
Since its inception Xerox has been responsible for introducing sustainable practices that have helped both its customers and its own corporation reduce carbon emissions. In the early 1970s Xerox introduced a recycled grade of cut sheet paper, and in the 1980s it introduced the “power down mode” on its devices. In the following years Xerox joined the Energy Star group as a charter partner and started the waste toner recycling programme. In 2008 Xerox made a Sustainability Calculator available to both corporate and public sector customers to help them measure and predict their carbon footprint caused by office devices.
Notes to Editors
The procurement experts at the NHS sustainability conference suggest a five level procurement framework:
1.) Undertake expenditure analysis and identify key sustainability impacts. Key contracts start to include general sustainability criteria. Contracts to be awarded on the basis of value-for-money, not just lowest price. Procurers adopt quick wins.
2.) Undertake detailed expenditure analysis, assess key sustainability risks and use them for prioritisation. Sustainability is considered at an early stage in the procurement process of most contracts. Whole-life-cost analysis adopted.
3.) All contracts are assessed for general sustainability risks and management actions are identified. Risks are managed throughout all stages of the procurement process. Targets to improve sustainability are agreed with key suppliers.
4.) Detailed sustainability risks are assessed for high impact contracts. Project / contract sustainability governance is in place. A life-cycle approach to cost / impact assessment is applied.
5.) The life-cycle analysis has been undertaken for key commodity areas. Sustainability Key Performance Indicators are agreed with key suppliers. Progress is rewarded or penalised based on performance. Barriers to sustainable procurement have been removed. Best practise gets shared with other organisations.
For further information, please visit http://www.pasa.nhs.uk/PASAweb
About Xerox UK
Xerox UK, the UK operation of Xerox Corporation, markets a comprehensive range of Xerox products, solutions and services, as well as associated supplies and software. Its offerings are focused on three main areas: offices from small to large, production print and graphic arts environments, and services that include consulting, systems design and management, and document outsourcing.
Xerox also has manufacturing and logistics operations in Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands, and a research and development facility (Xerox Research Centre Europe) in Grenoble, France. For more information visit, www.xerox.com
For information on Xerox products and services, call 0870 873 4519 or visit www.xerox.com/uk
Judith Schunke, Xerox Europe, T: +44 (0) 1895 842 877
Claire Jones, Trimedia Ltd, T: +44 (0)20 7025 7593
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